Chris Froome effectively wins Tour de France to become 2nd British champion in 2 years

  • Article by: JOHN LEICESTER , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 20, 2013 - 11:42 PM

The Team Sky rider kept his big lead and only needs to avoid an accident on Sunday to become the second consecutive champion from Great Britain.

view larger photos

  

ANNECY-SEMNOZ, France — Chris Froome has two hands firmly on the Tour de France trophy. All that remains is for the British rider to raise it above his head before cheering crowds in Paris on Sunday.

The Team Sky rider retained his big race lead Saturday in the penultimate stage to ensure he will become Britain's second successive champion after Bradley Wiggins.

Only an accident or other freak mishap Sunday on the largely ceremonial final ride to the Champs-Elysees could stop Froome from winning the 100th Tour.

"It's been an amazing journey for me, the race has been a fight every single day," Froome said at the winner's news conference which the Tour holds the evening before the final stage.

"This Tour really has had everything. It really has been a special edition this year."

Froome, who was clearly superior and never looked really troubled in the three-week race, finished third Saturday in a dramatic Stage 20 to the ski station of Annecy-Semnoz in the Alps that decided the other podium placings.

Nairo Quintana from Colombia won the stage and moved up to second overall.

Joaquim Rodriguez from Spain rode in 18 seconds behind Quintana and moved up to third overall.

Froome's lead is more than five minutes over both of them.

Froome said only when he passed the sign showing two kilometers (about a mile) to go on the final steep uphill did he allow himself to believe he'd won the Tour.

"It actually became quite hard to concentrate," he said. "A very emotional feeling."

Alberto Contador, who was second overall at the start of the day, struggled on that climb and dropped off the podium.

Saturday's 78-mile trek was the last of four successive stages in the Alps and the final significant obstacle Froome needed to overcome before Sunday's usually relaxed ride to the finish in Paris. That 82-mile jaunt starts in Versailles, at the gates of its palace.

Froome's dominance at this Tour was such that this victory could very well be the first of several. At 28, he is entering peak years for a bike racer. He proved at this Tour that he excels both in climbs and time trials — skills essential for those who want to win cycling's premier race. He also handled with poise and aplomb questions about doping in cycling and suspicions about the strength of his own performances. He insisted he raced clean.

This Tour was the first since Lance Armstrong was stripped last year of his seven wins for serial doping. Froome said the scrutiny he faced has "definitely been a challenge" but was "100 percent understandable."

Whoever won this 100th Tour "was going to come under the same amount of scrutiny, the same amount of criticism," he said.

"I'm also one of those guys who have been let down by the sport."

Froome first took the race lead and the yellow jersey that goes with it on Stage 8, when he won the climb to the Ax-3 Domaines ski station in the Pyrenees. On Sunday's Stage 21, he will wear the yellow jersey for the 13th straight day.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 6 FINAL
Detroit - WP: K. Lobstein 8
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: A. DeSclafani 2
Washington - LP: G. Gonzalez 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: D. Haren 6
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 5
Atlanta - LP: T. Cahill 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 5
Boston - LP: W. Miley 7 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 18
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 3 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Blazek 6
Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Robertson 3
Kansas City - LP: E. Volquez 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 5
Texas - WP: N. Feliz 5 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: J. Alvarez 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: T. Clippard 6
Los Angeles - LP: S. Baker 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: B. Morrow 3
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 8 FINAL
Arizona - LP: J. Hellickson 0
San Francisco 0 Postponed
Colorado 0
Minnesota - WP: C. Fien 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: T. Olson 2
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 4 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: C. Shreve 6
Cleveland 101 FINAL
Boston 93
LA Clippers 114 FINAL
San Antonio 105
Toronto 94 FINAL
Washington 125
Houston 109 FINAL
Dallas 121
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Montreal 2 FINAL
Ottawa 0
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Toronto FC 2 FINAL
Orlando City 0
Portland 0 FINAL
Seattle 1

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild-Chicago series turn out?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close