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Chris Froome posted his gravel playlist and fans are questioning his taste

Just how generic is the cyclist's musical preference?

Photo by: Chris Froome/Strava

Chris Froome’s taste in music has recently come into question, due to a playlist he posted that contains songs one Twitter user described as a “15 year old girl’s iPod playlist from like 4 years ago.”  15 year old girls have much more sway in the music industry than they are credited for, and nobody has claimed that cyclists should be musical tastemakers, but the question still remains: is Froome’s taste in music really that generic? Has he listened to anything released after 2013 or did he just win his first Tour de France and decide these songs were the secret to future victories?

Digging deeper, there maybe a bit more to Froome’s taste in music than this uninspiring playlist would let on. 

The ride

On Saturday, May 15, Froome posted a ride on island of Tenerife, part of Spain’s Canary Islands. It looked like a beautiful day. According to Strava, it was 13 ℃, but Froome seemed happy in shorts and short sleeves, titling the ride: “‘Shortcuts’ & gravel ⚠️”. The Israel Start-Up Nation cyclist rode a nice 146.56 kilometre gravel-y loop with his teammates Omer Goldstein and Reto Hollenstein, cruising over the 3,884m of elevation at an average of 23.5km/h.

photo: Chris Froome/Strava

Performance music

The 35-year-old rider appears to have linked his Strava account to a music app called ‘Perform‘. The platform “automatically tracks and recommends music to improve exercise.”

For many fans, Froome’s playlist seemed like the most generic “exercise” soundtrack possible. The reaction was split between savage and supportive.

Based on the fact that he was riding with teammates on what seems like a casual exploration-type ride, its unlikely that Froome was actually listening to this music during his exercise. He didn’t appear to be even wearing headphones in the shots he posted, though he looked otherwise pretty well equipped for the ride, sporting a third water bottle stashed in his back pocket and a Garmin Varia clipped on to his seatpost.

Spotify and Perform playlists

Froome’s playlist was likely added after the ride, and auto generated by the Perform app. The app creates playlists based on “your music taste” but it appears to only pull from a limited catalogue of music. I tested Perform and the result was a playlist I would never have made with songs I don’t really listen to—it seems as though Froome’s playlist had a similar composition of music.

Spotify has a fun, possibly slightly creepy feature, that allows users to look up other user’s playlists (yes, that probably includes your playlists.) Froome’s actual Spotify has a number of public playlists which, while sometimes a tad cheesy, are actually pretty well curated. Though the rider’s taste in eyeware is still up for debate, it seems as if he has, in fact, listened to music released after 2013.