News: Third Tour win for Froome


With the strongest team behind him, Chris Froome surprised his rivals more than once on his way to a third Tour de France

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News: Third Tour win for Froome

Chris Froome has been crowned the winner of the 2016 Tour de France, taking his third victory in the prestigious Grand Tour, joining the likes of Greg Lemond, Louison Bobet and Phillippe Thys having won three Tour de Frances.

Crossing the line flanked by all nine of his Team Sky team-mates after 21 days of racing (a first for Team Sky), Froome was a decisive winner of the race laying the foundations for victory during an attentive opening week, before snatching the lead with a daring late downhill dig on stage eight into Bagneres-de-Luchon.

Even two crashes could not stop him winning the race. First, surviving a well-publicised scare with a TV motorbike while attacking on Mont Ventoux and then again on a wet descent days later, Froome took time out of his rivals in the mountains, and in the race’s two time trials, the second of which brought another victory on stage 18, bringing his tally to seven Tour stages.

Froome came home the dominant winner after having shown a side of his racing never before seen. He did however have around him riders themselves capable of challenging for the overall all in support of his aim to win a third Tour.

Froome crossbar

Froome showing the unpredictable nature of his attacking goes on the downhill on stage 8

Sergio Henao, Wout Poels and Mikel Nieve combined to form a superb triple threat in the high mountains, setting a searing tempo and chasing down attacks, all the while looking after the interests of Froome. As Geraint Thomas explained afterwards, it may not be popular but they are paid to win and win is what they do. Embodying that team spirit, Geraint Thomas, rode a mightily impressive race, and famously gave up his bike for Froome in the shadow of Mont Blanc.

“It has been an incredible few weeks” added Thomas. “The strength of the team was phenomenal, we had five climbers and we’ve all led teams but there were no egos and everything was all about Froome,” Thomas said

Mikel Landa and Vasil Kiryienka also put in huge mountain shifts, in addition to exemplary domestique work. Ian Stannard battled back from a hard crash on stage 12 to support Froome every step of the way, with Luke Rowe again demonstrating an old head on young shoulders as road captain, combining with Stannard to grind out kilometre after kilometre on the front.

On the last day of the race, with the Tour all but won, Rowe in particular along with Poels, enjoyed the freedom of attacking the race and bridging to the day’s breakaway with 18km to go.

After the race was done, and the stage won by Greipel, Froome paid tribute to his teammates, his growing family and everyone affected by the tragic Nice attacks which took place during the race.

“To my teammates and support team – this is your yellow jersey too. I wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for your commitment and sacrifice. “A massive thank you to Dave Brailsford, and my coach Tim Kerrison. This is one special team – and I’m so proud to be a part of it! To Michelle my wife and my son Kellan – your love and support make everything possible. Kellan, I dedicate this victory to you.”

“This tour has obviously taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice, and we pay our respects once again to those who have lost their lives in this terrible event. Of course these kind of events put sport into perspective, but they also show why the values of sport are so important to free society”.

“We all love the Tour de France because it’s unpredictable, but we love the Tour more for what stays the same. The passion of the fans from every nation along the roadside, the beauty of the French countryside, and the bonds of friendship created through sport. These things will never change.”

“Vive Le Tour, et Vive La France!”

In an interview in the Guardian newspaper, Froome from Kenya but on a British racing licence, was keen to highlight it isn’t just about the team and who is part of it but also how a rider races and the moments like the one on Ventoux and others. “If anything it shows my will to win. How badly I want it,” he said. “Winning two Tours didn’t make me complacent, didn’t make me want it less. This one could be the first one all over again. I was going to fight just as hard.

Froome admits in the Guardian that the stage that meant the most was the downhill victory into Luchon. “That epitomised what bike racing is all about,” the Tour winner reflected. “I felt like a kid again, trying to be the fastest down the hill with all my mates behind me. That’s what racing is about, that thrill, the adrenaline, the boy-racer mentality.” … continued after advert


All these things will have no doubt endeared Froome to the public, being part of moments in the 2016 which will be talked about for generations to come. The biggest of those will be his run up Mont Ventoux after he, Mollema and Porte rode into the back of a TV bike forced to stop by the crowd. The sight of the maillot jaune running up Mont Ventoux without his bike is something that will live on long after Froome has retired from racing his bicycle.

But Froome was in the spotlight for much more. Whilst his team is known for its machine like approach which doesn’t win any friends outside of the squad, it was Froome’s unpredicatablity that won him new fans. Like the sitting on the crossbar whilst attacking on the descent or getting stuck in with Peter Sagan, another legend of the Tour, to put time into his rivals in the cross winds. Even the punching of a spectactor draws sympathy from those who agree that some times the crowd does get out of control.

It showed him to be a fighter. Froome’s dominant ride sees him having now spent 44 days in yellow, putting him in 5th place in the all time table of riders who have worn yellow led by Eddy Merckx. That stat alone shows he is one of the Tour greats already.

He will now race the Ride London Classic one-day race next Sunday before heading to Rio for the Olympics.


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