Rider of the week
On July 26th, Chris Froome joined Gino Bartali, Ottavo Bottecchia, Alberto Contador, Fausto Coppi, Laurent Fignon, Nicolas Frantz, Firmin Lambot, André Leducq, Sylvère Maes, Antonin Magne, Lucien Petit-Breton, Bernard Thevenet as a two-time winner of the Tour de France, taking Great Britain’s tally of wins to three, just as many as the US has.
It wasn’t an easy task for Froome, who had to overcome the crosswinds, the cobbles, the unruly crowds and the doping insinuations, as well as as two spirited attacks of Nairo Quintana on La Toussuire and Alpe d’Huez, thanks to which the pint-sized Colombian managed to cut two thirds of the huge deficit he had in the overall classification before the Alps.
As he did in 2013, the 30-year-old Brit has build his triumph in the first half of the week, surprising everyone with his performance in the flat, tricky stages, before powering away from all his rivals on La Pierre-Saint-Martin, the first summit finish of this year. With that impressive display in the Pyrenees and the cushion he had over all his rivals, Froome had the luxury of staying in the defensive in the days to come, with an eye of Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali, who were still posing a threat in the GC.
It wasn’t a one-man job, but a team one, as the Sky leader had an incredible squad as his disposal, with the likes of Geraint Thomas, Richie Porte, Wout Poels or Ian Stannard doing a tremendous work during the three weeks of the Tour de France, controlling the race and making sure of helping Chris Froome in the key moments of the race, as well as in the (rare) occasions in which he showed some weaknesses during the final stages, where the Kenya-born cyclist began to fade after three tough weeks.
Now, Chris Froome is a two-time Tour de France winner and is widely considered as one of the best riders in the race’s history. It remains to be seen how his legacy and victories will be regarded in the years to come.