Tour de France

Froome 'all but' TDF champion

2013-07-20 17:58
Nairo Quintana (Gallo Images)

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2013-06-26 13:29

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Paris - Britain's Chris Froome virtually secured overall victory in the 100th Tour de France on Saturday after a thrilling penultimate stage won by Colombian climbing specialist Nairo Quintana.

Ahead of Sunday's 21st and final stage from Versailles to Paris, which is usually only disputed by the sprinters, Froome defended his significant overnight lead over his rivals on the final day in the mountains.

"It's been an amazing journey for me. The race has been a fight every single day, with crosswinds, rain, mountains, good days in the mountains and bad days.

"It's really fitting for the 100th edition ... it's been a special edition."

Kenyan-born Froome, who moved to South Africa as a teenager and took a British racing licence only in 2008, underlined his Grand Tour credentials with a runner-up place on the Tour of Spain in 2011.

On his way to a runner-up place last year, Froome was key to helping teammate Bradley Wiggins become Britain's first yellow jersey champion.

Having been the form stage racer in the peloton this season, Froome started as the race favourite and took command of the race on stage eight with a stunning victory atop Ax-Trois-Domaines in the Pyrenees.

After a second place finish on the Stage 11 time trial, further wins came on the Mont Ventoux (Stage 15) and the Stage 16 time trial to Chorges.

It ultimately left Froome with a 5:11 advantage going into Saturday's final day in the hills, but despite appearing to have the legs for a third mountaintop stage win the emotions took over with 2km to race.

"With about 2km to go when I was with Quintana and (Joaquim) Rodriguez I started thinking, 'two k's to go now, I've got five minutes, this is it, it's pretty much wrapped up now," said Froome.

"It was overwhelming and it actually became quite hard to concentrate in those last two k's."

Although poised to win in Paris on Sunday, the 28-year-old admitted it will take a long time for his imminent victory to sink in.

"The journey I've taken to get here, from riding on little dirt roads on a mountain bike back in Kenya to be here in yellow on the Tour de France, it's difficult for me to put into words," he added.

"This is an amazing feeling."

Spain's Alberto Contador began the stage second overnight at 5:11 adrift but only 21 seconds ahead of Quintana.

His inability to follow when Froome, Quintana and Rodriguez upped the pace early on the final, 10.3km climb to the summit effectively ended his chances of claiming a podium place.

The Saxo team leader, however, admitted Froome was simply too good.

"It is always better to finish second than 10th, but the objective was to finish first. This year it was impossible, there is one rider who is better than the rest," said Contador.

Quintana crossed the finish line alone in triumph to claim his maiden stage win on his race debut, moving him up to second overall at 5:03.

As well as virtually securing Colombia's first runner-up spot on the race, 25 years after Fabio Parra's third place finish in 1988, Quintana secured the King of the Mountains' polka dot jersey with an 11-point lead on Froome as well as the white jersey for the best young rider.

The 23-year-old Colombian, who grew up at an altitude of 2 800m and used to cycle over mountain passes to get to school, only turned professional last year.

"I never thought success on the Tour de France would come to me so quickly. I'm only 23-years-old and it's unbelievable to be sitting here today," said Quintana, who broke down in tears while talking to reporters.

Rodriguez came over the line 17 seconds adrift, but despite missing out on victory, the Katusha team leader's efforts moved him up to third overall at 5:47.

Having struggled to show his ambitions of a podium finish at the start of the race, Rodriguez came fighting back into contention in an improved third week.

"I got better as the Tour went on and finished very strongly and I am happy with my work and with that of my team," said the Spaniard.

"I did everything to win today. I didn't do it but I am happy to finish on the podium in Paris."

Standings from the 20th stage of Tour de France a 125km ride from Annecy to Semnoz on Saturday:

1. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 3hr 39min 04sec
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) at 0:18sec.
3. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:29.
4. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 1:42.
5. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) 2:17.
6. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 2:27.
7. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) 2:28.
8. John Gadret (FRA/ALM) 2:48.
9. Jesus Hernandez (ESP/SAX) 2:55.
10. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/SAX) 2:55.
11. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 3:01.
12. Christophe Riblon (FRA/ALM) 3:22.
13. Mikel Nieve (ESP/EUS) 3:24.
14. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 3:24.
15. Jan Bakelants (BEL/RSH) 3:51.
16. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) 3:56.
17. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 3:56.
18. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) 4:03.
19. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 4:31.
20. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA/SOJ) 4:36.
21. Andy Schleck (LUX/RSH) 4:50.
22. Maxime Monfort (BEL/RSH) 4:50.
23. Wout Poels (NED/VAC) 5:33.
24. Jose Serpa Perez (COL/LAM) 5:40.
25. Nicolas Roche (IRL/SAX) 5:58.
26. Arnold Jeannesson (FRA/FDJ) 6:11.
27. Luis Ángel Mate (ESP/COF) 6:33.
28. Lars Petter Nordhaug (NOR/BKN) 6:42.
29. Laurens ten Dam (NED/BKN) 6:42.
30. Igor Anton (ESP/EUS) 6:42.
31. Peter Velits (SVK/OPQ) 6:42.
32. Jens Voigt (GER/RSH) 7:08.
33. Guillaume Levarlet (FRA/COF) 7:25.
34. Anthony Delaplace (FRA/SOJ) 7:27.
35. Hubert Dupont (FRA/ALM) 7:50.
36. Juan Jose Oroz (ESP/EUS) 8:39.
37. Rudy Molard (FRA/COF) 8:59.
38. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC) 8:59.
39. Cyril Gautier (FRA/EUC) 8:59.
40. Michael Rogers (AUS/SAX) 8:59.
41. Davide Malacarne (ITA/EUC) 9:18.
42. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/RSH) 9:24.
43. Simon Clarke (AUS/ORI) 9:33.
44. Jonathan Hivert (FRA/SOJ) 9:43.
45. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) 10:56.
46. Sep Vanmarcke (BEL/BKN) 11:36.
47. Julien Simon (FRA/SOJ) 11:40.
48. Pierrick Fedrigo (FRA/FDJ) 11:40.
49. Bart De Clercq (BEL/LTB) 11:40.
50. Jérome Coppel (FRA/COF) 11:40.
51. Tom Dumoulin (NED/ARG) 11:59.
52. Eduard Vorganov (RUS/KAT) 12:13.
53. David Lopez (ESP/SKY) 12:44.
54. Andreas Kloden (GER/RSH) 13:00.
55. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 13:00.
56. Rui Costa (POR/MOV) 13:30.
57. Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR/SKY) 13:37.
58. David Veilleux (CAN/EUC) 14:09.
59. Tom Danielson (USA/GRM) 14:14.
60. Markel Irizar (ESP/RSH) 14:22.
61. Alexandre Geniez (FRA/FDJ) 14:30.
62. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/BMC) 16:47.
63. Sébastien Minard (FRA/ALM) 16:47.
64. Ruben Perez Moreno (ESP/EUS) 16:47.
65. Mikel Astarloza (ESP/EUS) 16:47.
66. Yury Trofimov (RUS/KAT) 16:47.
67. Romain Sicard (FRA/EUS) 16:49.
68. Frederik Willems (BEL/LTB) 18:26.
69. Manuel Quinziato (ITA/BMC) 18:26.
70. Simon Gerrans (AUS/ORI) 18:26.
71. Daryl Impey (RSA/ORI) 18:26.
72. Johnny Hoogerland (NED/VAC) 18:26.
73. Audrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 18:26.
74. Imanol Erviti (ESP/MOV) 18:26.
75. Koen de Kort (NED/ARG) 18:26.
76. Lars Boom (NED/BKN) 18:26.
77. Rubén Plaza (ESP/MOV) 18:26.
78. Robert Gesink (NED/BKN) 18:26.
79. Jon Izagirre (ESP/EUS) 18:26.
80. Pavel Brutt (RUS/KAT) 18:26.
81. Lars Ytting Bak (DEN/LTB) 18:26.
82. Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL/LAM) 18:26.
83. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 18:26.
84. Manuele Mori (ITA/LAM) 18:26.
85. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 18:26.
86. Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 18:26.
87. Laurent Didier (LUX/RSH) 18:26.
88. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 18:26.
89. Adam Hansen (AUS/LTB) 18:26.
90. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC) 18:26.
91. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN/EUC) 18:26.
92. Kévin Reza (FRA/EUC) 18:26.
93. Julien El Fares (FRA/SOJ) 18:26.
94. Maxime Mederel (FRA/SOJ) 18:26.
95. Brice Feillu (FRA/SOJ) 18:26.
96. Cameron Meyer (AUS/ORI) 18:26.
97. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) 18:26.
98. Sergio Paulinho (POR/SAX) 18:26.
99. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 18:26.
100. Egoitz García (ESP/COF) 18:26.
101. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP/VAC) 18:26.
102. Ian Stannard (GBR/SKY) 18:35.
103. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP/MOV) 18:35.
104. Jeremy Roy (FRA/FDJ) 18:35.
105. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 18:35.
106. Peter Kennaugh (GBR/SKY) 18:35.
107. Bram Tankink (NED/BKN) 19:38.
108. Gatis Smukulis (LAT/KAT) 19:55.
109. Peter Sagan (SVK/CAN) 20:04.
110. Moreno Moser (ITA/CAN) 20:04.
111. Brian Vandborg (DEN/CAN) 20:04.
112. Fabio Sabatini (ITA/CAN) 20:04.
113. Blel Kadri (FRA/ALM) 20:17.
114. Jerome Cousin (FRA/EUC) 20:17.
115. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) 20:19.
116. Matteo Tosatto (ITA/SAX) 20:30.
117. Daniele Bennati (ITA/SAX) 20:36.
118. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) 20:42.
119. Murilo Fischer (BRA/FDJ) 20:42.
120. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) 21:26.
121. Rein Taaramae (EST/COF) 22:01.
122. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/VAC) 23:32.
123. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BMC) 23:32.
124. Tom Leezer (NED/BKN) 23:39.
125. Kristjan Koren (SLO/CAN) 24:10.
126. Maciej Bodnar (POL/CAN) 24:10.
127. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA/AST) 24:10.
128. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA/ALM) 24:19.
129. Alberto Losada (ESP/KAT) 24:43.
130. Alan Marangoni (ITA/CAN) 24:55.
131. Alessandro De Marchi (ITA/CAN) 24:55.
132. Aliaksandr Kuschynski (BLR/KAT) 25:04.
133. Jürgen Roelandts (BEL/LTB) 25:04.
134. Tony Gallopin (FRA/RSH) 25:04.
135. Boy Van Poppel (NED/VAC) 25:04.
136. Roy Curvers (NED/ARG) 25:04.
137. André Greipel (GER/LTB) 25:04.
138. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) 25:04.
139. Brett Lancaster (AUS/ORI) 25:04.
140. Matthew Goss (AUS/ORI) 25:04.
141. Serguey Lagutin (UZB/VAC) 25:04.
142. Cyril Lemoine (FRA/SOJ) 25:04.
143. Dmitry Muravyev (KAZ/AST) 25:04.
144. Amaël Moinard (FRA/BMC) 25:04.
145. Yohann Gene (FRA/EUC) 25:04.
146. Davide Cimolai (ITA/LAM) 25:04.
147. Jean-Marc Marino (FRA/SOJ) 26:05.
148. David Millar (GBR/GRM) 26:28.
149. Stuart O'Grady (AUS/ORI) 26:28.
150. Gert Steegmans (BEL/OPQ) 26:28.
151. Greg Henderson (NZL/LTB) 26:28.
152. Maarten Wijnants (BEL/BKN) 26:28.
153. Simon Geschke (GER/ARG) 26:30.
154. Michael Albasini (SWI/ORI) 26:30.
155. Johannes Fröhlinger (GER/ARG) 26:30.
156. Niki Terpstra (NED/OPQ) 26:30.
157. Albert Timmer (NED/ARG) 26:30.
158. John Degenkolb (GER/ARG) 26:30.
159. Marcel Kittel (GER/ARG) 26:30.
160. Jérôme Pineau (FRA/OPQ) 26:30.
161. Svein Tuft (CAN/ORI) 26:30.
162. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) 26:30.
163. Mark Cavendish (GBR/OPQ) 26:30.
164. Elia Favilli (ITA/LAM) 26:37.
165. Roberto Ferrari (ITA/LAM) 26:38.
166. Matteo Trentin (ITA/OPQ) 26:49.
167. Juan José Lobato (ESP/EUS) 26:59.
168. Enrico Gasparotto (ITA/AST) 27:10.
169. Assan Bazayev (KAZ/AST) 27:10.
170. Ramunas Navardauskas (LTU/GRM) 28:47.

Read more on:    tdf  |  chris froome  |  cycling

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