For the second year in a row Britain has a winner of the Tour de France with Chris Froome taking a decisive victory on the 100th edition. Kenyan-born Froome took – and maintained – the yellow jersey after winning Stage 8, the summit of Ax 3 Domaines, winning two further stages for good measure, the fearsome climb of Mont Ventoux (stage 15) and the 32km Time Trial Stage 17.
In a twilight finish on the Champs-Élysées Mark Cavendish was denied a fifth consecutive Paris stage win, edged out in a final battle between Germany’s Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel – with Kittle taking the stage by mere inches. Due to the late finish in the French capital a victory lap was out of the question for Froome and his Team Sky teammates, with the TdF winner electing to forgo more than a minute of his overall margin to drop back and cross the line arm-in-arm with his team.
The usually stoic Froome took to the podium besides second placed Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and third placed Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) to make an emotional speech dedicating the win to his late mother. ‘Without her encouragement to follow my dreams,’ he said, ‘I would probably be at home watching this event on the TV. It’s a great shame she never got to come and see the Tour. But I’m sure she would be extremely proud if she was here tonight.’
Froome continued, ‘This amazing journey would not be possible without the support I’ve received on and off the bike. I’d like to thank my teammates 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. Thank you to all the people who have taken their time to teach and mentor me over the years, to get me into this privileged position.’