The three-week Tour de France came to an end over the weekend as Britain’s Chris Froome was crowned champion for the second time in his career. The victory means that Froome becomes the first Briton ever to win the tour twice, and at just 30 years of age, the Team Sky athlete has plenty of potential to add to his current haul of titles. Froome completed the 2,200 mile race in 84 hours, 46 minutes and 14 seconds, beating Columbia’s Nairo Quintana and Spain’s Alejandro Valverde to secure the gold jersey and etch his name in the history books once more.
There were a record 10 Britons at this year’s event. The highest ranking Brit after Froome was his teammate Geraint Thomas, who finished in 15th position. Elsewhere, sprint specialist Mark Cavendish had a mixed tour as he finished in 142nd place. While he took his overall tally of Tour Stage wins to 26 after winning Stage 7, he was also accused of giving up in a sprint on Stage 2 – something Cavendish reacted angrily to.
Froome’s victory was an impressive one, as he led the general classification since Stage 7. His powerful riding made sure that he never dropped out of the top two positions after the third stage. He was even leading the pack by three minutes 10 seconds right up until the last Thursday. The highlight of Froome’s Tour de France possibly came during Stage 10, as he broke away from the competition with four miles left to add a huge extension to his lead and set the tone for the rest of the event.
Froome also took home the Polka jersey during the event, making him the first rider since Eddy Merckx in 1970 to win both the overall race and mountain classification in the same year. The green jersey, rewarding consistently high finishes on each stage, went to Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, after he finished in the top five positions on 10 different stages. The 25-year-old Quintana didn’t leave empty-handed either, awarded the white jersey for being the best young rider – the second time he’s collected it in three years.
The competition was fierce among the big four, Froome, Quintana, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali, at this year’s Tour de France. Quintana finished just 72 seconds behind Froome overall, after claiming that he lost the race on Stage 2 where he finished a disappointing 88 seconds after the Brit. Nibali, the defending champion, lost time on Stages 2, 8 and 9, and faded as the tour progressed, although he did well to win Stage 19. Froome’s victory ensures that he will be remembered as one of the greats of British cycling for many years to come, and he will be hoping to add to his already impressive list of achievements as he enters the peak of his career.