July 23, 2017 11:07:59 pm
Britain’s Chris Froome claimed his fourth Tour de France title on Sunday. Here is a recap of his four victorious rides:
2nd: Nairo Quintana (Colombia)
3rd: Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain)
After showing in the 2011 Vuelta and the 2012 Tour de France that he had what it takes to win a grand tour, Froome became the designated Team Sky leader after previous champion Bradley Wiggins said he would not take part.
Froome stamped his authority on the race with a stinging attack five kms from the top of a punishing drag up to Ax-3 Domaines in the eighth stage.
The next day he experienced ‘one of the hardest days’ he had had on a bike when he was attacked on all fronts by his rivals but retained the yellow jersey.
Froome replied on Bastille Day with a trademark attack — elbows out, head wagging and legs spinning at a frantic pace — to win the stage ending up on the iconic Mont Ventoux.
The Kenya-born rider faced doping allegations as memories of the Lance Armstrong scandal were still fresh. Froome has always denied taking performance-enhancing drugs.
3rd: Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
Having crashed out of the 2014 Tour, Froome had a score to settle and took the yellow jersey after the third stage.
The first mountain-top finish was the opportunity for Froome to crush the opposition and he did just that at the top of La Pierre Saint Martin in the Pyrenees, none of his rivals managing to stay on his wheel when the Briton attacked 6.4 kms from the summit.
Froome again faced a barrage of doping allegations and was grilled by the media in his post-stage news conference after French television pundit Laurent Jalabert questioned his performances.
Froome had urine thrown at him and was spat at during the 14th stage as fans got nasty following the allegations.
2nd: Romain Bardet (France)
Again the overwhelming favourite, Froome took the yellow jersey with an unexpected attack at top of the Col de Peyresourdes and opened up a gap on the descent to Bagneres de Luchon.
He was involved in one of the most farcical scenes in the race’s history after being knocked off his bike when he, Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema crashed into the back of a camera motorbike.
He began running up the slopes of Mont Ventoux before grabbing a service bike which did not fit him. Froome was then given a spare Team Sky bike on which he completed the stage, losing more than a minute to his main rivals, only for the race jury to rule that he would be credited with the same time as the two riders he was with when the incident occurred.
Froome increased his lead with victory in an individual time trial and survived a crash on a descent two stages from the finish in Paris.
2nd: Rigoberto Uran (Colombia)
Froome entered the Tour under a cloud of uncertainty regarding his form, having not won a race this season.
However, he beat his rivals in the opening time trial to take an early advantage.
Froome benefited from his rivals’ meekness when they waited for him after he suffered a mechanical failure at a key point of a climb. The Team Sky leader lost the yellow jersey in a short but brutal uphill finish in Peyragudes.
He reclaimed it when Fabio Aru lost time two days later. Froome suffered yet another mechanical in the 15th stage and at one point trailed his rivals by 45 seconds but he managed to catch them to salvage his overall lead, which he cemented with third place in the final time trial.
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