Chris Froome is first Brit to win second Tour de France

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Flickr, Alain Stoll

CYCLIST Chris Froome won his second Tour de France title on Sunday (July 26), the first British rider to join an elite group of multiple winnersof cycling’s most-coveted title.
In atrocious conditions in Paris, Froome was brought home by his Team Sky colleagues who were only able to uncover their specially made, celebratory jerseys, with a yellow stripe replacing their normal blue, when the rain let up enough on the Champs Elysees for them to remove their waterproof capes.
The team made the same change when Bradley Wiggins won the tour in 2012, and again for Froome’s first victory in 2013.
Froome has seemed a likely winner of this year’s tour since stage two, back in the Netherlands, and has worn the yellow jersey since stage seven. Yet despite his seeming dominance, at several points over the last few stages, Colombian Nairo Quintana could have stolen the title, and it finished with the narrowest margin between first and second in seven years.
A jaw-dropping climb on stage ten, the first summit of the tour, had given Froome a three-minute lead, but it was also met with hostility from the French media, who made comparisons to the shamed star Lance Armstrong’s performances to imply Froome was using banned substances. Team Sky has countered those claims, and Froome has repeatedly said that he does not use drugs.
Still, the speculation led to hostility from some in the crowds, and it is claimed urine was thrown at him on stage 14, between Rodez and Mende.
But there was no sign of negativity as Froome coasted down the last strait in Paris, arm in arm with his seven colleagues.
“Without you guys I would not be standing up here: this is your yellow jersey as much as it is mine,” he said of his teammates.
“The maillot jaune is special, very special,” he continued, using his winner’s speech to again make clear that he knew the weight of cycling’s reputation was on his shoulders. “I understand its history, good and bad, and I will always respect it, never dishonour it and I’ll always be proud to have won it.”

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