Froome wins his fourth Tour de France

Britain’s Chris Froome, aboard his fi’zi:k Antares R1 and competing for Team Sky, has won the fourth Tour de France title of his career. On Sunday’s processional 21st and final 103km stage from Montgeron to Paris, won by Dylan Groenewegen, the 32-year-old finished safely in the pack to stand alone on four Tour victories. Froome now sits just one triumph behind the legendary quartet who have five Tour triumphs on their respective palmares: Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

‘The opportunity to win a fourth Tour de France has motivated and inspired me like never before,’ Froome said after the race. ‘I will never forget what it means to wear the maillot jaune, and what an incredible privilege it is to stand here on the Champs Élysées as winner of the Tour de France.’

Froome’s journey toward yellow began all the way back on Saturday 1 July with the 14km time-trial around the streets of Dusseldorf where he finished sixth, 12 secs down on teammate Geraint Thomas (fi’zi:k R1B Uomo shoes). It was the first time in Welshman Thomas’ illustrious career that he’d worn yellow and he did so for another four days, before returning to traditional domestique duties as Froome took the lead on stage five’s debilitating 160.5km stage from Vittel to La Planche des Belles Filles.

Rigoberto Uran (fi’zi:k Aliante R1 and Cannondale-Drapac) then cemented his status as race contender, winning the brutal ninth stage from Nantua to Chambery that sadly saw both Richie Porte (fi’zi:k Arione VSX and BMC Racing) and Thomas crash out.

Froome remained in the lead but unexpectedly relinquished yellow on stage 12 when he faltered on the steep haul to the finish line in Peyragudes, won by AG2R La Mondiale’s Romain Bardet (fi’zi:k Arione 00).

However, come stage 14, thanks to the relentless pace and tempo set by his teammates, including Mikel Landa (fi’zi:k Arione VS) and Michal Kwiatkowski (fi’zi:k Antares VS), Froome wrestled the yellow jersey back off Fabio Aru.

It was a lead he would retain all the way to Paris with Froome and Team Sky safely negotiating the standout remaining stages, including the 19th stage that finished atop the Col d’Izoard for the first time. Froome stamped his authority on the race on stage 20’s 22.5km time-trial around the streets of Marseille where he finished third on a day that saw Uran leapfrog Bardet for second overall.

Froome’s now signalled his ambitions to win this year’s Vuelta a Espana for the first time… and a record-equalling fifth Tour de France come July 2018.