Category Archives: Cycling

Tour de France: Chris Froome wins 100th edition of race

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Britain’s Chris Froome has won the 100th edition of the Tour de France.

Taking the title by more than four minutes, he linked arms with his team-mates as he crossed the line in Paris.

It is Britain’s second successive victory in the race – Froome’s Team Sky colleague Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win it a year ago.

Froome’s Tour in numbers

Chris Froome

Kilometres covered: 3,404

Time in the saddle: 83hrs 56min 20sec

Winning margin: 4mins 20secs

Stages won: 3 (8, 15 and 17)

Days in the race leader’s yellow jersey: 13/21

Crashes: 1 (before the start of stage 1)

Spectators punched: 1 (stage 20)

Doping tests taken: 19

Fines: £140 & 20 seconds for taking food illegally (stage 18)

Prize money: £380,000 (traditionally it is largely split between his team-mates)

Marcel Kittel claimed the final stage in the twilight, with Manxman Mark Cavendish third in a hotly contested sprint along the Champs Elysees.

Cavendish was attempting a 26th Tour stage win – and a fifth on the trot in Paris – which would have put him third on the all-time list behind five-time Tour winners Eddy Merckx (34) and Bernard Hinault (28).

But he was edged out by a wheel length by Germany’s Kittel, who won a fourth stage on this year’s race and Andre Greipel in the French capital, with more than 350,000 spectators lining the streets.

Froome had finished runner-up last year but with Wiggins electing not to defend his title after injury problems , the 28-year-old was favourite to win the race and he brought the yellow jersey home in emphatic style, ahead of Colombian Nairo Quintana and Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain.

He had first taken the lead when he won the eighth of the 21 stages in a summit finish at Ax 3 Domaines in the Pyrenees.

The Briton, who was born and raised in Kenya, claimed a further two stages in his maiden Tour de France title .

He told ITV4: “Crossing the line with [the] guys brought tears to my eyes. I expected it to be big but this is something else.

“Dave [Team Sky manager Sir Dave Brailsford] has been talking about the future of cycling – the youngsters coming through and the way the sport is moving. I look at the last decade and the way sport is going – we’ve got something to be proud of.”

Analysis

Graham Jones Radio 5 live summariser in Paris

“It has been a brilliant victory by Chris Froome. He has been far and away the best rider and he has won the best Tour de France for quite a number of years.

“We saw a lot more racing than normal, with riders and teams taking chances and acting on the spur of the moment during stages. It was a far less calculated race than it has been previously, and a reminder of how exciting it can be – there were very few dull days.

“He is young enough to win the race again and again and he is the type of the rider who has his head screwed on. He will realise this could be the start of something very special for him.

“As for Mark Cavendish, I don’t think he was ever 100% throughout this Tour, and Marcel Kittel has come through to show he is going to be a real adversary for him in the future. But it shows how good we think Cavendish is when we are disappointed he has only won two stages in a Tour de France.

“I think it proves how difficult it is to peak for the Tour – it is three weeks once a year and it is very difficult to time things right every year. Cavendish was clearly not at his peak but he has still done remarkably well in the circumstances and I am sure he will be bounce back next year.”

But in the first Tour since disgraced rider Lance Armstrong admitted to doping in his seven Tour de France wins  , which have since been expunged from the records, Froome found himself having to answer questions about drugs in the sport.

He added: “I’m glad I’ve had to face those questions – after all the revelations of the last year. I’m glad that’s been channelled towards me.

“I’ve been able to deal with it. Cycling has changed – the peloton is standing together.”

In his victory speech while standing on the podium, Froome dedicated his triumph to his mother Jane, who died of cancer in 2008, for giving him “hopes and dreams”.

“Without her encouragement to follow my dreams, I’d probably be at home watching this event on TV,” he said. “It’s a great shame she never got to come see the Tour, but I’m sure she’d be extremely proud if she were here tonight.”

He also thanked his Team Sky colleagues for “burying themselves” for him during the gruelling race.

“I’d like to thank my team-mates, who have buried themselves day in day out throughout this Tour to keep this yellow jersey on my shoulders, and the Team Sky management for believing in my ability and building this team around me.

“This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time,” he added, in a reference to doubters over doping suspicions.

His team-mate Geraint Thomas, who rode nearly all of the race with a fractured pelvis after crashing towards the end of stage one, enjoyed riding across the finish line arm-in-arm with Froome and the five other Team Sky riders who finished the gruelling race.

The Welshman, who missed last year’s Tour to focus on his Olympic track ambitions, said: “That was special.

“It was nice for all of us to come together, because it doesn’t happen everyday. When you are a kid you dream of riding the Tour and coming to Paris, but I never even thought that one day I would be part of a British team, with a British rider winning.

“You know, I missed that only last year but it more than makes up for it this year.”

Twitter tributes to Froome

  • Prime Minister David Cameron: A brilliant win by Chris Froome. After two British winners it’s only right the Tour de France comes to Yorkshire next year
  • Former British world heavyweight champion boxer Lennox Lewis: Big up to @chrisfroome
  • British tennis player Heather Watson: Congratulations to Chris Froome and the Sky Team for winning the Tour de France 2013

Brailsford added: “The lads rode a fantastic race and I think there isn’t a better setting for cycling in the world, or any setting.

“The Champs Elysees, an iconic place, and this year the sun is going down, it is very emotional you know.

“It is pretty intense the way we work, and we ask a lot of the guys, we ask a lot of the back room staff, we ask a lot of the riders, and to be fair I think they give their all.

“I hope people are happy, but certainly the team and Chris are very very happy.”

The final stage started as a procession, as is the tradition, and the 170 riders headed off from Versailles with Rodriguez celebrating his third place overall by handing out cigars to fellow podium finishers Froome, donning a yellow bike, and Quintana.

The Brit was also handed a glass of celebratory champagne as he rode alongside a Team Sky car with its branding coloured in yellow, while he was surrounded by team-mates in special yellow-tinged sunglasses.

The sun was beginning to set as they arrived in the centre of Paris and Froome made sure his trusty wingman Richie Porte led the Sky train over the finish line of the Champs-Elysees on the first of 10 circuits.

A few riders attempted breakaways, included Britain’s David Millar, but they were swallowed up by the peloton and it was left to the sprinters to contest the final straight.

Kittel, who has been called the “next big thing” by Cavendish triumphed and said: “Four. I can’t believe it.

“It was a dream of mine to win on the Champs Elysees and now I’ve done it. I’m so proud.

“It’s nice compliments from a guy like Mark. He’s a nice guy and he actually wished me good luck before the start of today’s race. That was really sporting.”

Results of stage 21:

1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano 3 hours, 6 minutes, and 14 seconds

2. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol +0

3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma-Quick Step +0

4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale +0

5. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida +0

Overall classification – final standings

1. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky 83 hours, 56 minutes, and 40 seconds

2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar +4:20

3. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha +5:04

4. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff +6:27

5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff +7:27

Selected others:

33. Daniel Martin (Ire) Garmin +1:13:08

39. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC +1:30:14

40. Nicolas Roche (Ire) Saxo-Tinkoff +1:34:17

77. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Team Sky +2:33:46

113. David Millar (GB) Garmin +3:14:25

135. Ian Stannard (GB) Team Sky +3:38:49

140. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky +3:43:34

148. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma-Quickstep +3:52:04

King of the mountains jersey – final standings

1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 147

2 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky 136

3. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar 117

4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 99

5. Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R 98

Green points jersey – final standings

1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 409

2. Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma – Quickstep 312

3. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto 267

4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano 222

5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 177

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The Open Championship 2013: Day three as it happened

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20 July 2013 Last updated at 16:28 GMT

Get involved

As it happened

In Summary

  • Stage 20: Annecy-Mont Semnoz
  • Nairo Quintana wins stage
  • GB’s Chris Froome retains overall lead
  • Quintana moves second overall
  • Joachim Rodriguez third
  • Alberto Contador drops to fourth
Reporting by

  • Chris Bevan, BBC Sport
  1. 1714:

    Right, time for me to call it a day. Today’s report is taking shape and will include reaction and analysis when we get it. Thanks for keeping me company over the last few hours and I hope will you will be back for more on Sunday night – let’s hope the 100th Tour signs off in style. See you from around 1600 BST.

  2. 1710:
    Sunday’s stage 21

    So, there is just one stage left of the 100th Tour de France, and we now know that Britain’s Chris Froome will ride into Paris on Sunday night as the winner. It is a special nocturnal finish to the race, with the stage starting at 1645 BST and finishing at around 2035. Will a remarkable race end with Manxman Mark Cavendish taking his fifth-straight finish on the Champs Elysees. Join me from around 1600 BST to find out.

  3. 1703:
    Married to Le Tour

    Michelle Cound and Chris Froome

    Over the past three weeks, Michelle Cound has proudly watched her British fiance Chris Froome ride towards glory in the world’s toughest and most famous cycling race – the Tour de France. On Sunday, he is all but certain to be crowned the winner.

    I spoke to Cound last week about life with the Tour de France leader, coping with doping questions and the “War of the WAGs”

    “There were times when he was a bit frustrated last year but in the end it was all part of the process” Cound told BBC Sport. “You cannot just join a team and assume leadership because you are doing well, but he knew he would get his chance – and he has taken it.”

  4. 1659:
    GET INVOLVED

    The Eiffel Tower

    A reminder that the climax of the 2013 Tour de France will be a nocturnal affair on Sunday night, to mark the race’s 100th edition. We are still waiting to find out if Chris Froome will be wearing a sequinned yellow jersey and will shimmer in the light!

    If you are heading out to Paris to cheer Froome home then Tweet us your pictures from France on Twitter using the hashtag #bbctdf or let us what the atmosphere is like via text on 81111.

Tour de France: Chris Froome third but victory within sight

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Briton Chris Froome is set to win the 100th Tour de France after finishing third on the penultimate stage.

Froome, 28, leads by over five minutes and will not be challenged on Sunday’s traditional procession into Paris.

“I can’t quite believe I’m sitting here in this position,” said Froome. “It really is amazing.

Analysis

Graham Jones Radio 5 live summariser

“Chris Froome has been by the far the best rider on the Tour and it’s been one of the best victories of recent times.

“While Sir Bradley Wiggins was reliant on his time trial, Froome has expressed himself in the mountains and been utterly dominant.

“There were signs that Alberto Contador hasn’t been with it throughout the Tour and he’s not really challenged despite being second for most of it.

“It’s great to see Nairo Quintana win. He’s an old style rider, small and attacking. It’s a bit early to say but he could rival Froome in the future.”

“I’m a bit lost for words. I’ve still got to roll into Paris but this is the GC [general classification] sorted out. To finish it off like this is special.”

The Kenya-born rider added: “It was quite hard to stay on top once I got to three kilometres to go because I knew I had accomplished what I wanted to do. I was overwhelmed.”

Team Sky’s Froome stayed on the wheel of closest competitors Nairo Quintana and Joaquim Rodriguez as they climbed to the summit of Mont Semnoz and the Briton was forced to push away spectators with about three kilometres to go as they inadvertently threatened to impede his progress.

Quintana jumped clear late on to win and secure second overall while Rodriguez also moved onto the podium in Paris.

Spain’s Alberto Contador started the day behind Froome but cracked on the final climb to drop to fourth overall, finishing two minutes and 28 seconds behind the stage winner.

Germany’s Jens Voigt, the oldest competitor in the race at 41, had led a breakaway but was caught on the final hors categorie – the hardest rating – climb.

How they stand in the 2013 Tour

General (yellow jersey)

1. Chris Froome (GB)

2. Nairo Quintana (Col)

3. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa)

Points (green jersey)

1. Peter Sagan (Slo)

2. Mark Cavendish (GB)

3. Andre Greipel (Ger)

King of the Mountains (polka dot jersey)

1. Nairo Quintana (Col)

2. Chris Froome (GB)

3. Pierre Roland (Fra)

Young rider (white jersey)

1. Nairo Quintana (Col)

2. Andrew Talansky (US)

3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol)

Froome will become the second successive British winner when he crosses the line on the Champs Elysees following Sir Bradley Wiggins’s victory 12 months ago.

He has led since stage eight and finished the 20th stage, from Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz on Saturday, with a lead of five minutes three seconds in the general classification.

Quintana’s first ever stage win also secured the Colombian the polka dot jersey for the King of the Mountains to go with his white jersey for the best-placed rider under 25.

Peter Sagan, from Slovakia, took an an unassailable lead in the points classification with victory in the intermediate sprint to deny Mark Cavendish a chance of winning the green jersey.

But the Manxman will be aiming for victory as the tour concludes at sunset on Sunday in Paris as he bids to become the first rider to win the final stage on five occasions.

Cavendish, who has won the last four sprint finishes on the Champs Elysees, currently shares the record with the legendary Belgian Eddy Merckx.

The final stage will be under floodlights for the first time and is expected to finish at around 20:45 BST.

Results of stage 20:

1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 3:39:04″

2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha +18″

3. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky +29″

4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar +1:42″

5. Richie Porte (GB) Team Sky +2:17″

Overall standings after stage 20:

1. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky 80:49:33″

2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar +5:03″

3. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha +5:47″

4. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff +7:10″

5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff +8:10″

Tour de France: Stage 19Live

Chris Froome wins time trial to extend Tour de France lead

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Contador is now Froome’s closest rival in the overall standings, but trails the Team Sky rider by four minutes 34 seconds with four stages left.

A mid-stage switch from a road bike to a time-trial model proved crucial as Froome triumphed over the 32km run.

Analysis

Image of Rob Hayles Rob Hayles Former GB cyclist, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra co-commentator

“I was actually quite surprised by that finish. Chris Froome threw caution to the wind there and was perhaps fortunate that the roads had dried up lower down for him. The way that Froome delivered the stage victory there was absolutely precise though. It was typical of Team Sky, they pick the event apart in the planning stage. I think that the Saxo-Tinkoff pair of Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger made a big mistake by not changing their bikes”.

Joaquim Rodriguez was third while Bauke Mollema lost more than two minutes.

Dutch Belkin rider Mollema started the day as the nearest rider to Froome in the general classification, but is now fourth, more than six minutes adrift.

“Visiting the podium three times was just incredible,” said Froome, who has also won stages on Mont Ventoux and in the Pyreenes.

“I’m really happy with the result from today. I wanted to hold back a little bit for the days ahead and I was actually prepared to lose a little bit of time, so I’m quite surprised I won the stage.”

After beating the other contenders for the yellow jersey by about two minutes in the Tour’s other time trial at Mont St Michel, Froome had been expected to extend his lead on stage 17, between Embrun and Chorges.

But his rivals may be content that the 28-year-old Briton is still just about within range with the traditional last-day procession to Paris leaving them only three competitive stages to attack the leader.

Froome’s third stage win of this year’s Tour came courtesy of a combination of powerful riding and canny strategy.

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Froome ‘really happy’ after victory

With two category-two climbs on a twisting, technical route, most riders opted to stay on their usual road bicycles rather than swap to the time-trial specific machines that help their aerodynamics on straighter, flatter stretches.

Race rules, however, allow riders to change bikes at any point and Froome’s decision to take a time-trial model from his team’s support car for the final 12km descent proved wise.

Despite contending with drizzle on the upper slopes, he was able to make up 20 seconds on Contador, who remained on his normal bike.

Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff team-mate Roman Kreuziger climbed into third in the overall standings, four minutes 51 adrift of Froome, by finishing the stage in fourth.

Colombian Nairo Quintana reinforced his position as the race’s best young rider by taking sixth place, while 2010 winner Andy Schleck returned to form, descending well to finish 15th in his unfavoured discipline.

However Jean-Christophe Peraud, the highest ranked Frenchman in the general classification coming into the day’s stage, was forced to abandon the race after fracturing a collarbone on a morning reconnaissance ride and then falling on the same joint as he struggled in the afternoon.

Best of British

Chris Froome on the podium
  • Chris Froome became only the second British rider in Tour de France history to claim at least three stage victories in a single year. Mark Cavendish has done so on five separate occasions.

Statistic courtesy of Infostrada

Froome’s bid to succeed compatriot Sir Bradley Wiggins as overall champion will be tested again on Thursday as the field climb Alpe d’Huez twice in the centrepiece stage on the 100th edition of the Tour.

But he believes that race organisers should shorten the stage if the thunderstorms, which are forecast, strike.

“I think it would be sad not to do the planned parcours and the two ascents of Alpe d’Huez as it’s something special to go along with the 100th Tour de France,” he said.

“But having said that, safety definitely comes first. It’s a dangerous descent but if it starts raining I would hope the race organisers make the decision to make it just one climb. The safety of riders has to come first.

“I completely understand that at the end of the day all the riders will be in the same conditions.

“If we have to do the dangerous descent in the wet we’ll be up for it. Everyone is in the same boat as us in that regard. I just hope that it is not going to come to that.”

Live: Britain’s Chris Froome aims to defend his overall lead as the race climbs the legendary Alpe d’Huez twice on a gruelling stage.