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The Sky Was the Limit for the Tour de France

 

The Sky Was the Limit for the Tour de France

~ by Amy Lignor

 

Christopher Froome is not a new name in the cycling world, but he is now (as of this morning) a two-time winner of the Tour de France. This British road racing master took home the extraordinary prize in 2013, riding for UCI ProTeam “Team Sky.” This time around, he was Tour de France, Christopher Froome, "Team Sky", Alpe d’Huezback with The Sky again, as he and other competitors dealt with a rainy event. Froome made sure to give the media circus a perfect shot, as he crossed the line in his bright yellow jersey, linked arm-in-arm with his Team Sky mates.

 

The finale looked more like the Queen of England’s carriage procession when she’s out and about for a big day. Froome took his glass of champagne while sitting atop his bike with 100km still left to go. Froome was actually officially declared the winner of this year’s Tour when the riders came into Paris for the first time, before they began their ten laps of the Champs-Élysées, after the finish was soaked by rain.

 

Froome wasn’t always comfy during the race, however. He did have to work in order to hold off Quintana, who actually saw himself take Froome out of the number one spot on Saturday. Yes, it was only for 1 minute, 12 seconds, but it also was the final leg through Paris. What seems like a small amount of time to some, made Froome work even harder to secure the title, enjoy the champagne, and also look back on a truly hard route on the road to Alpe d’Huez.

 

Although Alpe d’Huez is not the highest climb, it is arguably the toughest. Known as the Dutch mountain because of the large number of Dutch riders who won a Tour stage on the Alp, a Dutch legion is always waiting for the riders in the famous bend 7, (aka: the orange) curve. Froome had to deal with the twenty-one hairpin bends of the Alp that begins at Bourg d’Oisans and is 13.2 km long. The maximum slope is 13% and is referred to as the Tour’s greatest set-piece ascent. Froome did beyond well, earning himself the King of the Mountains jersey and becoming the first Brit to do so since Robert Millar accomplished the feat in 1984. Froome also became the very first rider since Eddy Merckx (1970) to win both yellow and polka dots in the same year.

 

Yes, Lance Armstrong was a downside for the Tour and cycling in general, but Froome and Team Sky are most assuredly not. Froome has now entered the very prestigious ranks of cyclists who can claim more than one Tour win. Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain, claim five. Greg LeMond and Louison Bobet each claim three. And four riders; Fausto Coppi, Alberto Contador, Bernard Thévenet and Laurent Fignon, have two wins to their names. Now Froome has become their “two-time champion” friend.

 

Source:  Baret News Wire

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