Froome makes history in Spain

Chris Froome, aboard his fi’zi:k Antares R1 and competing for Team Sky, has won the Vuelta a España to become only the third rider to win the Vuelta-Tour de France double. He joins the exulted company of Jacques Anquetil (1963) and Bernard Hinault (1978). In the process, he became the first British rider to win the Vuelta and only the ninth rider to win two GrandTours in the same season.

“I’ve been fighting for this victory for six years and three years I’ve stood on the second step,” the 32-year-old said after the race. “It’s just amazing to stand on the top step this time.”

The processional 117.6km 21st stage rolled from Arroyomolinos to Madrid and, for the most part, featured low speeds, big smiles and the occasional glass of champagne. That was until the sprint finish, which encapsulated more than ever what a competitor Froome is. His ‘sprint’ rival, Matteo Trentin, took the stage win, but by powering to 11th on the day, Froome added the sprinter's green jersey to his victorious red jersey. Just to hammer home his dominance, he also won the all-rounders white jersey.

Typically humble, Froome recognised the part fi’zi:k-riding Team Sky played in his historic season: “The team has just been incredible over the last few months… it’s been an incredible journey.”

The ‘incredible team’ comprised Christian Knees (Arione R3), Diego Rosa, David Lopez (both Antares 00), Gianni Moscon, Mikel Nieve (both Antares R1), Wout Poels (Antares VS), Salvatore Puccio (fi’zi:k R1B Uomo shoes) and Ian Stannard (Arione VS).

Froome’s now won five GrandTours in five seasons. So what next? An attempt at the triple crown? “To win a fifth Tour would be the golden prize for me,” Froome told reporters. So no triple effort next year but, we suspect, more success for this most dedicated of riders.

Elsewhere, Edvald Boasson Hagen (fi’zi:k Antares VS) won the final stage of the Tour of Britain. It was a great effort from the Norwegian but not quite enough to take the overall title from Lars Boom. Stefan Kung (fi’zi:k Arione VS and BMC Racing) finished third on GC.

It was a busy weekend in the world of mountain biking, too, with the fi’zi:k-riding Santa Cruz Syndicate in action at the World Downhill MTB Champs in Cairns, Australia. France’s Loris Vergier was the team’s top finisher in seventh.