Team Sky ace Froome clinches his fourth Tour de France victory but was booed in the process
CHRIS FROOME sealed his place among Britain’s sporting greats by blasting to his FOURTH Tour de France crown.
Team Sky’s ace came third in yesterday’s individual time trial but blew away his two remaining rivals on Marseilles’ streets to clinch the Yellow Jersey as he surged into the Stade Velodrome.
And Froome, 32, can celebrate on today’s processional ride into Paris having increased his lead to 54sec — his biggest margin of the three weeks.
Now he can look forward to an emotional reunion with wife Michelle and son Kellan.
Froome said: “This is incredible. To win three Tours in a row and four in all is beyond my wildest dreams, but it doesn’t get any easier each year.
“I’ve spoken to my wife, she’s headed off to Paris with my son. I can’t wait to get there now.
“It’s definitely been the closest Tour I’ve won and the most hard-fought between the rivals.
“Given the route we had this year, it was always going to be a close race, but I didn’t expect it would come right down to the line in Marseilles.
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“There was a fair bit of pressure but it motivates me more.”
He is now just one win away from joining Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain in the all-time lists.
He said: “To be mentioned in the same sentence as those legends is a great honour.”
Froome was booed when he left the tarmac ramps of the stadium as he started his trial.
He had begun the day 23sec up on Romain Bardet and 29sec ahead of Rigoberto Uran.
And Froome almost caught Bardet — who started two minutes ahead — as they entered the stadium but crossed just a few metres behind.
WHERE IT WAS WON
STAGE 1: Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas bagged his first Yellow Jersey on the Dusseldorf time trial, but Froome stole a march on all his main rivals.
STAGE 9: Thomas crashed out but so did main rival Richie Porte, who hit a wall on a horror descent into Chambery. Froome came third to nick some bonus seconds.
STAGE 12: Froome lost his Yellow Jersey when he cracked on the final 500-yard kick as Italy’s Fabio Aru arrived at Peyragudes with a six-second lead.
STAGE 14: Brit Froome regained the maillot jaune in Rodez as Aru was caught out in the final tough climb.
STAGE 15: Around 25 miles from the finish at Le Puy-en-Velay, Froome had a wheel problem. A quick change with Michal Kwiatkowski led to a five-mile chase that saw him rejoin rivals and stay in yellow
French favourite Bardet clung on to the final podium spot by just ONE sec from Froome’s Sky team-mate Mikel Landa.
Michal Kwiatkowski came second on Stage 20 by a second from Maciej Bodnar who stopped the clock in 28min 15sec.
Triumphant Brit Froome is only the seventh rider in 104 editions of the Tour to triumph without winning a single stage.
TOUR DE FRANCE ROLL OF HONOUR
5 Jacques Anquetil (Fra): 1957, 61, 62, 63, 64.
5 Eddy Merckx (Bel): 1969, 70, 71, 72, 74.
5 Bernard Hinault (Fra): 1978, 79, 81, 82, 85.
5 Miguel Indurain (Spa): 1991, 92, 93, 94, 95.
4 CHRIS FROOME (GB): 2013, 15, 16, 17.
3 Philippe Thys (Bel): 1913, 14, 20.
3 Louison Bobet (Fra): 1953, 54, 55.
3 Greg LeMond (US): 1986, 89, 90.