Chris Froome has become Britain’s first three time winner of the famous Tour de France when he crossed the finish line of the 21 stage race in Paris yesterday.
The 31 year old Team Sky rider, who won last year and also in 2013, also becomes the first cyclist at the event to defend his title in over twenty years.
“It’s like the first time, it’s amazing. Every time it’s special,” said Froome.
“It’s an absolutely amazing feeling. It feels like a privilege to be in this position. I’ve always had my team-mates around me.”
Following on from Bradley Wiggins’s success in 2012, a Brit has now won in four of the last five years.
Froome had built up a lead of over four minutes over the previous stages. He finished ahead of Frenchman Romain Bardet, Colombia’s Nairo Quintana and Britain’s Adam Yates, who finished fourth.
During Sunday’s race, Froome was joined by Yates, who was given the white jersey as the best young rider, whilst Slovak Peter Sagan was top in the green points and Poland’s Rafal Majka in the polka dot king of the mountain jersey.
As the riders reached Paris, the race became competitive for nine 6.8km plans of the city, which concluded with a bunch sprint on the Champ-Elysess.
Froome becomes just the eighth rider to win at least three Tours de France, joining Belgium’s Phillipe Thys, Louison Bobet of France and American Greg LeMond on three.
With disgraced Lance Armstrong’s seven ‘wins’ between 1999-2005 expunged from the record books after he admitted to doping, the record of five Tour wins, held jointly by Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, Belgium’s Eddy Merckz and Miguel Indurain of Spain, is very much in Froome’s sight.
“It would be my dream to keep coming back for the next five or six years and give myself the best opportunity of winning again,” said Froome.
“I can’t say the novelty is wearing off. It’s such an incredible event and to be in the yellow jersey is every cyclist’s dream and the biggest honour in our sport.
“I hope I can be back next year to fight for it again.”