Five key moments in Chris Froome’ Tour de France win

Here are the key moments that earned Christopher Froome his third Tour de France victory.

Five key moments in Chris Froome' Tour de France win
The victorious Christopher Froome. Photo: AFP


With the top contenders watching each other like hawks and generally remaining close together, young Briton Adam Yates took a rare opportunity to streak clear and steal a few seconds on the seventh stage. But his progress was halted in stunning fashion as the inflatable archway indicating the final kilometre collapsed on him. A fan had accidentally dislodged a pin and the arch came crashing down, knocking Yates off his bike and leaving him with a bloody chin. “I've got stitches in my chin and my legs are sore but I got pretty lucky,” Yates said.


Daring descent

Arguably the eighth stage was the one that set the tone for what was to follow as Froome demonstrated a never-before-seen dexterity. The renowned time-trialer and climber proved just as agile on a breakneck descent to the finish of the stage in Bagneres-de-Luchon. “It was when we went over the top of the mountain, I thought, 'maybe I can make a difference here'. I tried, it was incredible as I'd never won a stage like that,” said Froome. He attacked over the top of the final climb and while Nairo Quintana, his expected main rival, hesitated, Froome adopted an awkward, crouched position on his bike while pedalling furiously to snatch 23 seconds from his main challengers, winning the stage and claiming the yellow jersey that he would never relinquish.


Taming the wind

Froome consolidated not only his lead in the race but his growing reputation as the complete rider as he broke away alongside world champion Peter Sagan in the final 12km of the 11th stage. “All day my team-mates protected me, right to the end of the stage. When I saw Sagan go away I thought, 'I have to follow him and maybe together we can get there',” said Froome.

He predictably lost the sprint finish to Sagan but his mastery of the perilous crosswinds, helped by faithful lieutenant Geraint Thomas, allowed him to snare another 12 more seconds.

Running man

The image that will ensure this Tour lingers long in the memory is that of the yellow-shirted and yellow-helmeted Froome running, bike-less, to the finish line on the iconic Mont Ventoux. Pandemonium reigned in the final kilometre of the 12th stage as encroaching fans blocked the road to the finish, forcing a photographer's motorbike to stop short.

Richie Porte crashed into the back of it, with Froome and Bauke Mollema following suit. “I heard on
the radio our car was a long way back, there was just a kilometre to go, I thought: 'I've got to keep going forward',” said Froome.

His bike was broken but not his champion's spirit. He simply set off on foot until a replacement bike could be proffered. And again, he increased his lead.

Geraint's bicycle

A rare moment of drama for Froome, potentially more penalising than his fall on Ventoux. Froome hit the deck again, this time on a slippery descent as rain fell on the 19th stage.

But again he didn't panic, and Thomas came to his aid, handing over his bicycle for Froome to ride the final 25km to the finish, bloodied and bruised. “I thought straight away: 'I have to change bikes again and get going again'. I had no doubts, I looked for my team-mates, my friends. Geraint Thomas gave me his bike right away. That's the race, the race goes on, it doesn't stop,” said Froome. He lost a handful of seconds to fellow rivals but actually gained time on Mollema, thus again, despite adversity, extending his lead.

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Inaugural Women’s Tour de France to start at Eiffel Tower

The route for the inaugural women's Tour de France was unveiled on Thursday with eight stages, embarking from the Eiffel Tower on July 24th next year.

French cyclist Marion Rousse delivers a speech next to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme during the presentation of the first edition of the Women's Tour de France cycling race.
French cyclist Marion Rousse delivers a speech next to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme during the presentation of the first edition of the Women's Tour de France cycling race. Photo: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP.

The first complete edition of the women’s version of cycling’s iconic race starts on the day the 109th edition of the men’s Tour ends.

After a route that winds through northern France, the race culminates in the Planche des Belles Filles climb in the Vosges mountains.

Danish cyclist Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig said she was over the moon to be taking part.

“I want it to be July now so we can get stared,” she said actually jumping up and down.

“The Tour de France is a reference and when you say you are a cyclist people ask about that. Now I can say I race the Tour de France,” she said after the presentation.

MAP: Details of 2022 Tour de France (and Denmark) revealed

Race director Marion Rousse, a former French cycling champion and now a TV commentator, told AFP it would be a varied course that would maintain suspense over the eight days.

“It is coherent in a sporting sense, and we wanted to start from Paris,” she said of the 1,029km run.

“With only eight stages we couldn’t go down to the Alps or the Pyrenees, the transfers would be too long.

“The stages obviously are shorter for the women than for the men’s races. The men can go 225 kilometres. For the women the longest race on our roster is 175km and we even needed special dispensation for that,” she said. “But it’s a course I love.”

Christian Prudhomme, the president of the Tour de France organisers, was equally enthusiastic.

“The fact it sets off from Paris the day the men’s race ends gives the new race a boost because it sets the media up to follow it more easily.

“It also means that with the Tour de France starting on July 1st and the women’s race ending on the 31st, there will be cycling on television every day of July.”

The men’s race is broadcast in around 190 countries.