London - Chris
Froome was hailed in the British press on Monday for completing a
historic Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double, but coverage of his feat
was relatively low-key.
The 32-year-old joins Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil (1963) and Bernard
Hinault (1978) as the only riders to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same
But Froome is the first man to win both races since the Vuelta was moved to after the Tour in the racing calendar in 1995.
The Times called it a "monumental achievement" and The Daily Mirror
said he had pulled off "one of the most outstanding feats in British
In the eyes of The Daily Telegraph, the four-time Tour de France
champion now deserves to be considered "one of the greats, not simply of
cycling but of British sport".
The Guardian emphasised the role played by Team Sky and said Froome's
dominance of stage races had "not been seen since Miguel Indurain's
purple patch between 1991 and 1995".
However, The Guardian was the only paper in which Froome's
achievement was the leading sports story of the day, with football
Despite his phenomenal success, the quietly spoken Froome has never
captured hearts in the same way as his charismatic former Sky team-mate
Explanations for his relative lack of popularity range from the fact
he was born in Kenya to the doping suspicions that continue to swirl
around his team.
"Raised in Africa, resident in Monaco" was how The Times summed up how Froome is viewed in Britain.
British former cyclist David Millar, writing in The Telegraph, said
Froome "would probably admit deep down that he feels more African than
In a piece entitled "So, why can't we warm to Froome?" The Mail's
chief sports writer Matt Lawton said doubts about Sky's practices and
doping in cycling in general were also held against the rider.
Lawton said professional road racing was still perceived to take place against a "backdrop of suspicion".
He also highlighted revelations about Wiggins's use of therapeutic
use exemptions while racing for Sky and the team's failure to
satisfactorily explain a mysterious package that was sent to him during a
The Guardian's Will Fotheringham wrote: "Team Sky have singularly
failed to endear themselves to those with a romantic vision of cycling
or doubts over the sport's ethical issues".
After winning his third Tour de France last year, Froome was
surprisingly left off the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of
the Year award.
The award, voted for by the general public, rewards the outstanding performer in British sport in each calendar year.
Millar said it would be "criminal" if Froome were not shortlisted this year.
Froome is currently the second favourite to win the award behind Britain's world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua.
When asked about his chances of winning this year's award, Froome told British papers: "I am not going to hold my breath."