July 22, 2013
As the peloton reached the cobbled streets of the Champs Elysees for a final time, the Tour de France cyclists found themselves bathed in the pinks and reds of summer twilight.
Chris Froome, the man in yellow, passed the finishing line side by side with his Team Sky teammates. A remarkable light show projected onto the Arc de Triomphe followed and Froome’s victory speech would speak of the love he has for the race and the sport.
For the first time in 2013 the Tour de France came to a close under the shadows of the setting sun. It would turn out to be a beautiful tribute to mark the 100th staging of this historic sporting event.
But it is Chris Froome’s victory itself that is of greatest tribute to the Tour.
Froome seemed to dominate the pursuit for the General Classification (GC) win from the earliest of stages. That’s despite his falling off the bike in the warm up before the race had even begun in earnest.
But a skimmed knee was soon forgotten with the performance that followed.
The Tour covered 3,404 kilometres in 2013. This took Froome just under 84 hours to complete. In doing so he won three stages, spent 13 out of 21 days in the Yellow Jersey, undertook 19 doping tests and suffered a £140 fine for taking on his musette (food bag) too early during stage 18.
He completed the Tour four minutes and 20 seconds faster than the rider in second place for the GC.
And if that doesn’t seem like much, then one just has to look back at some of Froome’s standout moments of the Tour to realise how impressive he really was.
Many Tour lovers are convinced that Froome’s powerful cycling at the top of Mont Ventoux, during which he summoned the strength to push away from rival GC contender Alberto Contador while remaining in his seat despite the preceding uphill cycling, will rank as one of the top sport moments of the year.
And with that in mind, along with the fact Froome has already won the Tour of Oman, Criterium International, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine in 2013 in addition to the Tour de France, we ask you: could Froome be a contender for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award next year?