Tour de France

Froome set to win third Tour de France title

2016-07-24 12:24
Chris Froome (Getty Images)

Chantilly - Chris Froome will ride into Paris amid tight security on Sunday to claim - barring an unthinkable late mishap - a comprehensive third Tour de France title.

The 31-year-old Briton said he was feeling relieved following an eventful Tour for him personally that has contrasted sharply with the largely sterile spectacle in terms of the race for the yellow jersey.

Froome has crashed twice, made a daring attack at breakneck speed on a rapid decent, tamed the crosswinds and most memorably found himself running to the finish line on one stage after his bike was broken in a collision with a motorcycle.

Sunday's 21st and final stage begins in Chantilly, just outside Paris, and will end in the French capital's Champs Elysees with eight laps of a street circuit around the world-famous boulevard.

The stage is 113km long and will start in a festive atmosphere, giving Froome and his Sky team-mates the chance to toast their success on a procession towards Paris, before the true action begins with a charge to the line and a likely bunch sprint.

But just as the race began with security ramped up following last November's terror attacks in the City of Light, so Parisian authorities will be on high alert for Sunday's finale.

It less than two weeks since 84 people were killed in a truck attack in Nice.

"The atmosphere on the roads really has been great. The French public make this race what it is, and it's a French event," said the Kenyan-born Froome.

"Especially during this Tour de France, it's put into perspective for us with the attack in Nice and what's been happening.

"Credit to the French public, the race continued. It's a strong sign that life goes on and it's not going to be stopped by these terrorist activities."

Froome and a record number of finishers - 175, notwithstanding any major late incidents - will ride into Paris at the end of 3 500km of racing across 21 stages, including many tough mountainous ones in the Alps and Pyrenees.

Froome will add to his victories from 2013 and last year while 25-year-old Frenchman Romain Bardet will finish second and thus ignite hope amongst the host nation that their painful 31-year wait for a Tour winner could soon be coming to an end.

Nairo Quintana, Froome's bridesmaid in his previous two victories, will finish third and his Movistar outfit will claim the team award.

World champion Peter Sagan will win the green points jersey, Poland's Rafal Majka is set to be crowned king of the mountains and 23-year-old Briton Adam Yates - perhaps a future nemesis of Bardet's - will be the top young rider.

Read more on:    tdf 2016  |  chris froome  |  cycling


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