Chris Froome

Chris Froome OBE

Froome in 2014
Personal information
Full name Christopher Clive Froome[1]
Nickname Froomey[2]
Born (1985-05-20) 20 May 1985
Nairobi, Kenya
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[3]
Weight 67.5 kg (149 lb; 10 st 9 lb)[4]
Team information
Current team Team Sky
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type All-rounder
Amateur team(s)
Super C Academy
Hi-Q Super Academy
Professional team(s)
2007 Team Konica Minolta
2008–2009 Barloworld
2010– Team Sky
Major wins

Grand Tours

Tour de France
General classification (2013, 2015, 2016)
Mountains classification (2015)
7 individual stages (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)
Vuelta a España
3 individual stages (2011, 2016)
1 TTT stage (2016)

Stage races

Critérium du Dauphiné (2013, 2015, 2016)
Tour de Romandie (2013, 2014)
Critérium International (2013)
Tour of Oman (2013, 2014)
Vuelta a Andalucía (2015)
Herald Sun Tour (2016)
Infobox last updated on
9 September 2016

Christopher Clive Froome, OBE (born 20 May 1985) is a British professional road racing cyclist for UCI ProTeam Team Sky, who competed for Kenya until 2008. A three-time winner of the Tour de France, and three-time runner-up in the Vuelta a España, he is seen as one of the most successful stage-racing riders of the recent era.[5] Froome, who was brought up in Kenya and South Africa, has ridden under a British licence since 2008 on the basis that both his parents are British.

In 2007, at the age of 22, Froome turned professional with Team Konica Minolta. He moved to Europe to further his career, joining team Barloworld. In 2010 he moved to Team Sky and has become one of the team's key cyclists. Froome made his breakthrough as a Grand Tour contender during the 2011 Vuelta a España where he finished second overall.

At the 2012 Tour de France, riding as a super-domestique for Bradley Wiggins, Froome won stage seven and finished second overall, behind only Wiggins in the same race as the best British performance in the race's history. In the same year, he also won the bronze medal in the time trial event at the Olympic Games and finished fourth in the Vuelta a España. His first multi-stage race win came in 2013, in the Tour of Oman, followed by wins in the Critérium International, the Tour de Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné, and the Tour de France.

As a defending champion, he began 2014 by again winning the Tour of Oman, followed by a repeat victory in the Tour de Romandie. After retiring from the 2014 Tour de France, he came back to place second in the Vuelta a España. In 2015, he won his second Critérium du Dauphiné and his second Tour de France. In 2016, he won a third Tour title, and became the first man since Miguel Indurain in 1995 to defend his title.

Early life and amateur career

Froome was born on 20 May 1985 in Nairobi, Kenya,[3] the youngest of three boys to mother Jane and father Clive, a former hockey player who represented England at under-19 level.[6] His mother's parents had emigrated from Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England to Kenya to run a crop farm.[5][7][8] Froome's two older brothers, Jonathan and Jeremy, went to Rugby School in Warwickshire, England.[6] When Froome was 13, his mother took him to his first organised bike race, a charity race that he won despite being knocked from his bike by his mother. There he met professional cyclist David Kinjah, who became Froome's mentor and training partner.[6][9][10][11]

After finishing primary school at the Banda School in Nairobi,[12] Froome moved to South Africa as a 14-year-old to attend St. Andrew's School, a publicly-funded school in Bloemfontein[13] and St John's College, a boarding independent school in Johannesburg.[11][14][15] He then studied economics for two years at the University of Johannesburg.[16][17][18] In South Africa Froome started to participate in road cycling. It was not until he was 22 that he turned professional.[16] Froome started road racing in South Africa, specialising as a climber.[19] Froome competed in the road time trial at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, where he finished 17th, catching the attention of future Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford: "The performance he did, on the equipment he was on, that takes some doing... We always thought he was a bit of a diamond in the rough, who had a huge potential."[20] While representing Kenya at the 2006 Road World Championships in the under-23 category in Salzburg, Austria, Froome crashed into an official just after the start of the time trial,[3] causing both men to fall; although neither was injured,[21] he finished in 36th place.[22]

Professional career

2007–2010: Early years

Froome at the 2007 Tour of Britain, during his first season as a professional

Froome turned professional in 2007, aged 22, with the South African team, Konica Minolta, withdrawing from university two years into his degree in economics.[23] He competed from April to September for the Union Cycliste Internationale's World Cycling Centre (WCC) team based in Aigle, Switzerland, in the U23 Nations Cup.[24] In May he rode his first stage race, the Giro delle Regioni, winning stage five, riding for WCC.[23][25] In late-May he won stage six of the Tour of Japan, attacking from a breakaway in the fourteen-lap circuit in Shuzenji.[26] In June he competed at the "B" world championships in Cape Town, placing second to China's Haijun Ma in the 26.8-kilometre-long (16.7 mi) time trial.[27][28] In July, he claimed a bronze medal in the road race at the All-Africa Games in Algiers, Algeria.[29] On 26 September, he placed forty-first in the under-23 time trial at the world championships in Stuttgart, three minutes and thirty seconds behind the gold medalist, Lars Boom of the Netherlands.[30]

Froome on the 2008 Tour de France's final Champs-Élysées stage in Paris, riding in his first season for Barloworld

Froome was introduced to the British-based, South African-backed, second-tier UCI Professional Continental team, Barloworld, by South African Robbie Hunter, signing with them for the 2008 season.[14][23] In March he finished second overall in the Giro del Capo in South Africa, one minute and forty-one seconds behind his teammate, Christian Pfannberger.[31] Over April and March, he rode the Critérium International, Gent-Wevelgem and the Ardennes classics. He made his Grand Tour debut when he was named in Barloworld's squad for the Tour de France – becoming Kenya's first participant,[32] in which he finished 84th overall and 11th among the young rider classification.[33] In October Froome finished fourth overall in the Herald Sun Tour in Victoria, Australia.[34] His performances in 2008 attracted the attention of British Cycling coach, Rod Ellingworth, who believed Froome had potential. Froome said: "Although I was riding under the Kenyan flag I made it clear that I had always carried a British passport and felt British. It was then we talked about racing under the Union Flag, and we stayed in touch."[5]

Froome claimed his first professional win in March 2009, with the second stage of the Giro del Capo in Durbanville, South Africa, attacking a ten-strong breakaway with 30 km (18.6 mi) and finishing four minutes ahead.[35] He then participated in the Giro d'Italia, in which he came 36th overall, and seventh young rider classification.[36] In July he won a minor one day race, Anatomic Jock Race, in Barberton South Africa.[37] In September 2009, it was announced that he was to join British cycling team, Team Sky, for the 2010 season.[38]

Froome rode the 2010 Giro d'Italia. On stage nineteen, he was suffering with a knee injury and on the Mortirolo Pass he was seen holding on to a police motorbike. He had been dropped by the gruppetto, and intended to reach the feed zone and retire from the race. While holding the motorbike, the race commissaire ordered him to stop and withdraw from the race.[39][40] During his first season with Sky, his best result was at the Tour du Haut Var, where he finished ninth in the overall standings.[41] He also finished second at the 2010 national time trial championships, showing his ability in the discipline.[42] In October he represented England at the Commonwealth Games, in Delhi, coming fifth in the 40-kilometre-long (25 mi) time trial, two minutes and twenty seconds behind the winner, Scotland's David Millar.[43]

2011: Breakthrough

The early highlights of Froome's 2011 season were top fifteen finishes in the Vuelta a Castilla y León and the Tour de Romandie. Froome had a mixed Tour de Suisse, riding with the lead group on some mountain stages yet losing time on others, and finishing ninth in the final time trial.[44]

Froome and Juan José Cobo, on stage 19 of the 2011 Vuelta a España

Froome entered the Vuelta a España as the main domestique for Bradley Wiggins in the mountains. After being inseparable from Wiggins throughout the first week, he gained credit for his ride in stage nine, helping close down an attack on the final climb and finishing in fifth place, three seconds behind Wiggins, leaving both in the top 20 overall.[45] The following day in stage ten, however, Froome out-rode Wiggins to finish second in the time-trial behind HTC–Highroad's Tony Martin and to take an unexpected lead in the race. Froome averaged 405 watts over 56 minutes in this time-trial, proving himself as a strong time-trialist.[46][47] During stage eleven he helped his team to neutralise some attacks but soon found himself unable to follow the main group. However, he managed to hang onto second place in the general classification.[48]

After losing the jersey to Wiggins on stage eleven, Froome continued to ride in support of his leader. On stage fourteen, he helped to drop rivals including Liquigas–Cannondale rider Vincenzo Nibali and Joaquim Rodríguez (Team Katusha) on the final climb. Wiggins credited his lead to Froome, in a stage which also saw Froome rise back up to second in the standings.[49] The tough stage fifteen which ended on the Alto de L'Angliru saw Froome lead the chase to stage winner, Juan José Cobo of Geox–TMC, who took the overall lead at the end of the day. Froome proved stronger than Wiggins, finishing ahead of him in fourth place but forty-eight seconds behind Cobo, to retain second overall.[50]

On stage seventeen, Froome attacked Cobo 1 km (0.6 mi) from the summit finish, but Cobo fought back, catching Froome in the final 300 metres, only for Froome to attack again to win the stage and arrive one second in front of Cobo.[51] As a result of time bonuses, Froome reduced Cobo's lead to thirteen seconds. Froome was unable to reduce Cobo's lead any further and finished second overall in the Vuelta, equalling Robert Millar's second places in the 1985 and 1986 editions of the Vuelta and the 1987 Giro d'Italia, as the best finish by a British rider in the Vuelta and the highest finish by a British rider in a Grand Tour.[52]

There was an inconsistency about him. The question wasn't why he was good, the question was why we'd only seen glimpses. Why isn't he like that all the time? When the illness was discovered, retrospectively, it made a lot of sense."

David Brailsford on Froome's bilharzia infection.[53]

After the Vuelta it was revealed Froome had suffered throughout the year from the parasitic disease bilharzia (schistosomiasis), having been diagnosed in 2010.[54] It has since been speculated that Froome may have had the parasitic infection for much of his adult life and during his early cycling career.[6][55] The discovery and subsequent treatment of the illness has been used to explain Froome's rapid rise to form during 2011.[14][53] On 16 September 2011, Froome signed a new three-year contract with Sky.[56] He was part of the Great Britain team that helped Mark Cavendish win the world road race championship.[57] In October, Froome finished third overall in the first edition of the Tour of Beijing, 26 seconds behind overall winner, Tony Martin.[58]

2012: Super-domestique

The early part of Froome's 2012 season was wrecked by illness. He withdrew from the Volta ao Algarve with a severe chest infection, and blood tests showed his bilharzia parasites had returned.[54][59] In March, while on a training ride, Froome collided with a 72-year-old pedestrian.[60] He returned to racing in May, for the Tour de Romandie, where he helped Wiggins win the race overall,[61] before participating in a training camp on Mount Teide in Tenerife with several of his teammates.[62]

Froome riding in support of Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France, where he finished second to Wiggins in the general classification

Froome was selected for the Sky squad for the Tour de France. After placing 11th in the prologue,[63] he suffered a punctured tyre 9 mi (14.5 km) from the end of stage one and lost over a minute to overall leader Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack–Nissan).[64] On stage three, Froome was involved in a crash on the hill-top finish in Boulogne-sur-Mer, and was sent flying into safety barriers, but was unharmed and was given the same finishing time as the winner, Peter Sagan of Liquigas–Cannondale.[65] On stage seven finishing atop the Category 1 climb to La Planche des Belles Filles, he protected his leader Wiggins and was part of a small group that came in sight of the finish line. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) attacked, Froome jumped on his wheel and won the stage with an advantage of two seconds over his leader and Evans. Froome took the lead in the mountains classification.[66] With that operation, he took the polka dot jersey, but lost it to Fredrik Kessiakoff of Astana the very next day.[67] Froome finished second to Wiggins on stage nine, an individual time trial, and moved up to third overall.[68]

On stage eleven to La Toussuire, Froome rolled all day in the mountains in front of the pack or near it, setting the pace for his leader Wiggins, but he was forced to take two rests during the flatter, faster sections, dropping in behind Wiggins' group, leaving Wiggins out in front. Froome recovered well, however, and in a surprising event, due to what appear to be confused team orders, he attacked the remaining group on the last climb, just as Wiggins was easing off after the hard chase to catch Nibali 4 km (2.5 mi) away from the finish line. He subsequently received the order from his team manager to hold back and wait for yellow jersey Wiggins. He finished third of the stage after a late burst of speed.[69] For his efforts in assisting Wiggins, Froome was lauded in the media as a super-domestique.[70] On stage seventeen, Froome and Wiggins finished second and third respectively on the final mountain stage to further cement their general classification positions,[71] although Froome repeatedly waited for Wiggins on the final climb, costing him the chance of winning the stage.[72] On stage nineteen, a time trial, Froome finished second to Wiggins, mirroring the overall standings.[73] Wiggins went on to win the tour with Froome second, becoming the first two British riders to make the podium of the Tour de France in its 109-year history (Although Wiggins finished fourth in the 2009 Tour de France he was later promoted to third after Lance Armstrong's results were annulled in 2012).[74]

Froome during the time trial at the 2012 Olympics, finishing the race with the bronze medal

Froome, along with Sky teammates Wiggins, Cavendish and Ian Stannard, as well as Millar (Garmin–Sharp) were selected for Team GB's road race at the Olympic Games.[75] Froome and Wiggins also contested in the time trial.[76] Froome won bronze in the time trial, with teammate Wiggins taking gold.[77] Froome was selected as Team Sky's leader for the Vuelta a España, where he aimed to go one better than 2011 and win his first Grand Tour.[78] He lay third after the first mountain finish on stage three,[79] and moved up to second on stage four after leader Alejandro Valverde crashed, losing 55 seconds to the chasing group.[80] Froome moved down to third during the stage-eleven time trial sixteen seconds off leader Rodriguez.[81] He lost another twenty-three seconds on stage twelve, putting him 51 seconds down.[82] He struggled through the rest of the second half of the race. He ended up fourth overall, finishing over ten minutes behind the race winner, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank–Tinkoff Bank).[83]

2013: First Tour de France victory

Froome's 2013 season began at the Tour of Oman, where he took the race lead on stage four, finishing second to Rodríguez on the summit finish of Jebel Akhdar.[2] Froome then won the following stage to extend his lead, out-sprinting Contador and Rodríguez.[84] He finished the race taking the overall classification, his first stage race win of his career, 27 seconds ahead of Contador, with Cadel Evans twelve seconds further back. He also won the points classification.[85]

Froome then led Team Sky at the Tirreno–Adriatico in March, where he won the fourth stage after countering an attack by Contador, Astana rider Nibali and Vini Fantini–Selle Italia's Mauro Santambrogio on the final climb to Prati di Tivo.[86] Froome lost time on eventual winner Nibali on the penultimate stage, finishing the race in second place.[87]

Froome returned to action, and to the top step of the rostrum, in the Critérium International. After finishing fourth in the short second-stage time trial, he powered away on the last climb to pass team mate Richie Porte and win the third and final stage. In so doing he overtook Porte in the general classification.[88]

Froome in the leader's jersey on stage five's individual time trial at the 2013 Tour de Romandie

In late April, Froome won the 7.5 km (4.7 mi) prologue of the Tour de Romandie in Le Châble, Switzerland, taking the leader's jersey, with a six-second gap over Andrew Talansky of Garmin–Sharp.[89] He remained in the yellow leader's jersey throughout the entire race, increasing his advantage over his rivals to almost a minute with a strong performance in the penultimate queen stage. Near the end of that stage, after losing his support riders in the peloton, Froome gave solo chase to breakaway Team Katusha rider Simon Špilak and after catching him, worked with the Slovenian to maintain and extend their lead on the peloton and improve their general classification standings. Špilak won the stage, which catapulted him into second place in the overall, with Froome on his wheel in second.[90][91] In the final individual time trial stage Froome took third place, increasing his lead and winning his third race of the season.[92]

Froome's final warm up race before the Tour de France, for which he was favourite, was the Critérium du Dauphiné at the beginning of June.[93] He sat second overall behind Garmin–Sharp's Rohan Dennis after coming third in the time trial on stage four.[94] Froome won stage five after countering a late attack by Contador, to take the race lead by 52 seconds over teammate Porte.[95] Froome helped Porte solidify his second place on stage seven,[96] and on stage eight the pair rode away from their rivals on the final climb, with only Talansky (Garmin–Sharp) able to follow. Froome took second on the stage behind Alessandro De Marchi of Cannondale, who had attacked earlier, to secure overall victory, with Porte completing a one-two, 58 seconds back. This was Froome's fourth major stage race victory of the season, out of the five he had entered.[97][98]

Froome's Tour de France got off to a nervy start as he crashed in the neutral zone of the first stage on the isle of Corsica, but he was unharmed. Also, he avoided going down in the large crash towards the end of the stage.[99] After staying out of trouble for the rest of the first week, Froome won stage eight, the first mountain stage of the race, finishing on Ax 3 Domaines, by launching an attack after teammates Peter Kennaugh and Porte had brought back an earlier attack by Movistar Team's Nairo Quintana, and distanced most of Froome's rivals. Froome's winning margin on the stage was 51 seconds over Porte, and 85 seconds to Valverde (Movistar Team) in third. This gave Froome the overall lead in the Tour for the first time and the lead in the mountains classification.[100][101] On the following stage, however, Froome was left isolated as no teammates were able to follow repeated attacks early in the stage by Garmin–Sharp, Movistar Team and Saxo–Tinkoff riders. Despite being without any team support for most of the stage, Froome was able to defend his lead by following several attacks by Quintana and Valverde.[102] Froome then finished second in the individual time trial on the twelfth stage, twelve seconds behind Tony Martin, to put further time into all of his rivals.[103] However, on stage thirteen Saxo-Tinkoff caused a split in the peloton due to strong crosswinds, which Froome missed. Saxo–Tinkoff's Contador and Roman Kreuziger, and Laurens ten Dam and Bauke Mollema of Belkin Pro Cycling all made the selection and took 69 seconds out of Froome's lead, although Valverde lost over ten minutes and slipped out of contention.[104]

Froome beat Nairo Quintana to win stage 15 of the 2013 Tour de France.

Froome won stage fifteen, which finished on Mont Ventoux. Kennaugh and Porte dropped all of the leading contenders except Contador on the early part of the climb, before Froome surged clear of Contador with 7 km (4.3 mi) remaining and caught Quintana, who had attacked earlier in the climb. The pair worked together to put time into their rivals, before Froome dropped Quintana with 1.2 km (0.7 mi) remaining and soloed to the finish. This gave Froome a lead of four minutes and fourteen seconds over Mollema in second place, with Contador a further eleven seconds back. Froome also regained the lead in the mountains classification.[105][106] He won the stage seventeen time trial, finishing the 32 km (20 mi) course from Embrun to Chorges in 51 minutes 33 seconds, with Contador coming in nine seconds behind him, in second place.[107] Froome defended his lead during the Alpine stages, extending his overall lead as Mollema and Contador dropped back.[108]

Froome won the general classification on 21 July with a final time of 83 hours, 56 minutes and 40 seconds; he was 4 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Quintana. He was also King of the Mountains for six stages; however, he ultimately finished second to Quintana in that classification.[109] Froome's overall win and stage victories in the Tour win put him at the top of the UCI World Tour ranking, with 587, ahead of Sagan on 409.[110] Partly because the 2013 Tour was the first since Lance Armstrong's admission of doping, such questions were asked of Froome. He insisted that he and his team were clean and stated that the questioning saddened him.[111] Froome was drug tested 19 times during the Tour[109] and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford offered the World Anti-Doping Agency all performance data they had on Froome as evidence.[112]

In October Froome was named winner of the prestigious Vélo d'Or award for the best rider of the year.[113]

2014: Defending champion

Froome wearing the leader's jersey on stage six of the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné

As defending champion for the first time, Froome started his 2014 season by again winning the Tour of Oman.[114] After some minor illnesses and back problems, which meant he missed Tirreno–Adriatico,[115] his next stage race was the Tour de Romandie, again as defending champion, which he won by 28 seconds ahead of Špilak, with the two riders placing first and second in that race for the second consecutive year.[116] He also won the final stage of the race, an 18.5 km (11.5 mi) individual time trial, finishing a second faster than three-time time trial world champion Martin. To celebrate the Tour de France moving from Britain to France in July, Froome rode a bicycle through the Channel Tunnel, becoming the first solo rider to do so and one of few cyclists ever to have made the journey.[117] The Crossing took under an hour at a top speed of 40 mph — faster than most cross-channel ferries.[118]

Froome crashed out on the fifth stage of the Tour de France after falling three times over two days, putting an end to his defence of his Tour de France crown.[119] He came back in time to duel with Alberto Contador on the Vuelta a España, being very competitive in the mountains but losing some time on the first individual time trial.[120] Before the last stage, a short (10 km) flat time trial, Froome was in second place with a deficit of 97 seconds on the Spaniard.[121] He finally finished second.[122]

2015: Second Tour de France victory

Froome decided to begin his 2015 racing season in February at the Ruta del Sol in Spain, after winning the previous two years of the Tour of Oman. He was joined there by Contador, both riders competing in this race for the first time. Having lost eight seconds to Contador in the first day's individual time trial,[123] Froome ceded even more time to him on the third stage, when the Spaniard broke away from the peloton during the uphill finish to win the stage. Now 27 seconds behind Contador, with only one mountain stage remaining, Froome seemed likely to end up second.[124] But on the penultimate fourth stage, which had a steep uphill finish, Team Sky worked hard and dropped all of Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo teammates as the leaders reached the final climb. After some punchy moves by his support riders, Froome began a solo attack. For a short time Contador was able to follow, but he soon fell away. Froome won the stage and was able to open a 29-second gap on second-place Contador by the finish line, enough to overcome his deficit and take the overall race lead by two seconds.[125] The final fifth stage was relatively flat, with no likely chance for Contador to make up his deficit, allowing Froome to collect his first stage race victory since May 2014.[126][127] This was the third year in a row that Froome won his season opener stage race.[127] For a second year in a row, Froome did not start Tirreno–Adriatico, due to a chest infection.[115] He participated in the La Flèche Wallonne but crashed badly, ruling him out of a victory. Still, after some time to regain his wits, he remounted and soldiered on to finish 123rd, at 12:19.[128] He later participated in the Tour de Romandie in hopes of winning it for the third year in a row, but had to settle for third place in the general classification after winner Ilnur Zakarin and second-place Simon Spilak, both of Team Katusha.[129]

In June, he was in full preparation for the Tour de France as he participated to the Critérium du Dauphiné. He won stage seven, the queen stage, thanks to two consecutive attacks on the last climb of the day, one to shed the leading group and another one to get rid of Tejay van Garderen, who had resisted the first one.[130] On the stage, he repeated the exploit of winning solo while putting enough time into van Garderen to win the overall classification as well.[131]

Froome wearing the yellow jersey during stage thirteen of the 2015 Tour de France

Froome entered the Tour de France as one of the favourites for the overall win. After a strong performance on the Mur de Huy Froome took over the race lead by one second from Tony Martin,[132] although he subsequently lost the jersey to Martin on stage four to Cambrai.[133] Froome refused to wear the yellow jersey after Tony Martin abandoned the race while still leading due to a broken collar bone sustained on stage six.[134] Froome then received the yellow jersey at the end of the seventh stage by virtue of being in second place overall. During the evening of the first rest day of the Tour, it emerged that the team had had some of Froome's data files hacked and released onto the internet.[135] As the Tour entered the second week of racing stage ten saw the first mountains stage, the summit finish of La Pierre Saint-Martin, where Froome would go on to take the stage win, putting significant time into his general classification rivals.[136] During the remainder of the race the team faced intense scrutiny regarding their dominant performances; Porte was punched in the ribs by a spectator in the Pyrenees,[137] and Froome had urine thrown at him by another spectator.[138] Much of the blame for the poor spectator behaviour has been levelled at the French press for 'irresponsible' reporting.[139] Team Sky then released some of Froome's power data from stage ten in an attempt to calm claims of blood or mechanical doping.[140][141] Froome maintained his lead during the final week's Alpine mountain stages, although he lost 32 seconds to Quintana, who had emerged as his principal rival, on the penultimate mountain stage to La Toussuire, and another 86 seconds on the final summit finish on Alpe d'Huez, giving him a lead of 72 seconds over Quintana in the general classification. In addition to winning the race overall he clinched the mountains classification, becoming the first British rider to be crowned the Tour's King of the Mountains since Robert Millar in 1984.[142] He was also the sixth rider to take the yellow and polka-dot jerseys in the same year and the first to do so since Eddy Merckx in 1970.[143]

In August, Froome confirmed that he would follow up his Tour win by riding in the Vuelta a España,[144] becoming the first Tour winner to take on the Vuelta in the same year since Carlos Sastre in 2008.[145] Froome lost time on his rivals on the first summit finishes, though he gained back some time on the summit finish of stage nine.[146] Stage eleven was a mountainous stage in Andorra that Froome had described as "the toughest Grand Tour stage I’ve ever done".[147] He crashed into a wooden barrier on the approach to the first climb of the day; he continued to the end of the stage, though he lost significant time on all his rivals. The following morning, an MRI scan revealed that he had broken his foot in the crash and he withdrew from the Vuelta.[148]

Froome was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to cycling.[1]

2016: Third Tour de France victory

Froome on Stage 18 of the 2016 Tour de France

Before the 2016 season, Sky announced that Froome would attempt an unprecedented triple goal: the Tour, as well as the time trial and road race at the Olympics.[149] Froome started the season early, competing in the 2016 Herald Sun Tour in Australia (a race in which he had finished fourth in 2008). The Herald Sun Tour consisted of a short individual time trial prologue, followed by four stages. On the last stage, which culminated in a triple climb of Arthurs Seat and a summit finish, Froome broke away in a solo attack on the third and final ascent, and opened up a sufficient gap on the field to secure his first 2016 victory, along with the King of the Mountains award.[150]

Froome's next racing appearance was at the Volta a Catalunya in late March, where he finished eighth overall.[151] He subsequently competed at the Tour de Romandie, which brought mixed results. On the second stage, he punctured on a climb 20 km from the end and finished 17 minutes down on stage winner and new race leader Nairo Quintana.[152] However, on stage four, the queen stage, he and Tejay van Garderen attacked from the bunch to join the day's original breakaway; the pair then rode away on the final climb, and Froome distanced van Garderen with 7.4 km to go, holding on to win the stage with a four-second lead over the leader's group.[153]

In June, as preparation for the Tour de France, he took part in the Critérium du Dauphiné, which he won by 12 seconds over Romain Bardet of AG2R La Mondiale. This was Froome's third victory at the Dauphiné over the last four years.[154]

On Stage 8 of the 2016 Tour de France, Froome attacked on the descent of the Col de Peyresourde and held off the leading group of GC contenders to take a solo victory in Bagnères-de-Luchon. By doing so, Froome took the Yellow Jersey, leading the race by 16 seconds over Adam Yates (Orica–BikeExchange).[155] Following the stage, Froome received a fine of 200 Swiss Francs for elbowing a spectator in the face who had run alongside him during the ascent of the Col de Peyresourde.[156] On Stage 12, Froome collided with Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema and a motorbike after spectators on the road forced the motorbike to stop. Porte and Mollema continued riding, while Froome ditched his bike and continued on foot until receiving a replacement bike from his team car. He finished the race 1 minute and 40 seconds behind Mollema, but was awarded the same time as Mollema after a jury decision, and retained the yellow jersey.[157] Froome went on to claim his third Tour de France victory on 24 July 2016, and became Britain’s first ever three-time winner of the race.[158]

He followed his Tour win with a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, during the Men's Time Trial event,[159] repeating his bronze medal success from London 2012.

After the Olympics he was named in the start list for the 2016 Vuelta a España, during which he helped the team win the opening team time trial and later won stage 11 on Peña Cabarga, the site of his first Grand Tour victory in 2011. He lost over 2 and a half minutes on stage 15 when rivals Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador attacked together from kilometre 10 and blew the race apart, isolating him from his teammates. However, Froome continued to fight on and managed to gain back nearly all he had lost in a dominant victory on the stage 19 individual time trial to Calp. He finished the Vuelta in second overall, only 1:23 back of Quintana, earning his second Grand Tour podium of the season.

Personal life

Froome met Michelle Cound, a South African of Welsh origin, through South African rider Daryl Impey in 2009. Froome and Cound moved to Monaco together in 2011 and got engaged in March 2013.[160][161] The couple married in November 2014,[162] and on 14 December 2015 had their first child, a son named Kellan.[163] Froome dedicated his 2013 Tour de France win to his mother, who died of cancer five weeks before his Tour debut in 2008.[32][109]

Froome was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to cycling, subsequently being presented with the award by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in May 2016.[164]


Since winning his first Tour de France title in 2013, doubts over Froome's performances were raised by various experts, including former Festina coach Antoine Vayer. These allegations were based mainly on his sudden transformation from a relatively unknown rider to a grand tour winner, following his breakthrough performance in 2011 Vuelta. After his dominant showing in the first mountain stage of 2015 Tour, the suspicions increased even further. In a call to answer these questions, Froome promised to undergo independent physiological testing soon after finishing the Tour. The test, arranged by Froome himself, took place shortly before the start of the Vuelta, on 17 August 2015, in the GlaxoSmithKline Human Performance lab in London. Several tests were carried to determine his maximum sustainable power for 20–40 minutes (threshold power), level of maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) and his peak power. Froome's peak power was measured at 525 W; his peak 20–40 minute power, at 419 W, corresponds to 79.8 percent of the maximum. At his current weight of 69.9 kg (154 lb) (of which 9.8% was body fat) at the time of test, this corresponds to a figures of 7.51 and 5.98 W/kg respectively. His maximum oxygen uptake was measured at 84.6 ml/kg/min. At the time, he was reportedly almost 3 kg (6.6 lb) heavier compared to his Tour weight of 67 kg (148 lb). Using this number, the VO2 max figure would translate to approximately 88.2 ml/kg/min. He also released results from a previous test, carried out in 2007 while being part of the UCI development programme. The 2007 test measured his peak power at 540 W, the threshold power at 420 W and the maximum oxygen uptake of 80.2 ml/kg/min, at a weight of 75.6 kg (167 lb).[165]

Career achievements

Major results


1st Stage 2 Tour of Mauritius
1st Overall Tour of Mauritius
1st Stages 2 & 3
2nd Anatomic Jock Race
1st Overall Mi-Août Bretonne
1st Stage 5 Giro delle Regioni (Under-23)
1st Stage 6 Tour of Japan
2nd Berg en Dale Classic
2nd Time trial, B World Championships
3rd Road race, All-Africa Games
8th Tour du Doubs
2nd Overall Giro del Capo
3rd Giro dell'Appennino
4th Overall Herald Sun Tour
6th Overall Volta ao Distrito de Santarém
1st Stage 2 Giro del Capo
1st Anatomic Jock Race
4th National Road Race Championships
9th Gran Premio Nobili Rubinetterie
5th Time trial, Commonwealth Games
9th Overall Tour du Haut Var
2nd Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 17
Held after Stage 10
3rd Overall Tour of Beijing
2nd Overall Tour de France
1st Stage 7
Held after Stage 7
3rd Time trial, Olympic Games
4th Overall Vuelta a España
4th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
1st Overall Tour de France
1st Stages 8, 15 & 17 (ITT)
Held after Stages 8 & 15–19
1st Overall Tour de Romandie
1st Prologue
1st Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
1st Stage 5
1st Overall Tour of Oman
1st Points classification
1st Stage 5
1st Overall Critérium International
1st Stage 3
2nd Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stage 4
2nd UCI World Tour
3rd Team time trial, Road World Championships
1st Overall Tour of Oman
1st Stage 5
1st Overall Tour de Romandie
1st Stage 5 (ITT)
Critérium du Dauphiné
1st Points classification
1st Stages 1 (ITT) & 2
2nd Overall Vuelta a España
Combativity award, Overall
6th Overall Volta a Catalunya
7th UCI World Tour
1st Overall Tour de France
1st Mountains classification
1st Stage 10
1st Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
1st Stages 7 & 8
1st Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
1st Points classification
1st Stage 4
3rd Overall Tour de Romandie
1st Stage 1 (TTT)
1st Overall Tour de France
1st Stages 8 & 18 (ITT)
1st Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
1st Stage 5
1st Overall Herald Sun Tour
1st Mountains classification
1st Stage 4
1st Stage 4 Tour de Romandie
Combativity award Stage 5
2nd Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stages 1 (TTT), 11 & 19 (ITT)
Combativity award Stage 19
3rd Time trial, Olympic Games
3rd Overall UCI World Tour
8th Overall Volta a Catalunya

Grand Tour general classification results timeline


Grand Tour 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Giro d'Italia 34 DSQ
Tour de France 83 2 1 DNF 1 1
Vuelta a España 2 4 2 DNF 2
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish
DSQ Disqualified

Major stage race general classification results timeline


Race 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Tirreno–Adriatico 2
Volta a Catalunya 71 61 6 71 8
Tour of the Basque Country
Tour de Romandie DNF 15 123 1 1 3 38
Critérium du Dauphiné 4 1 12 1 1
Tour de Suisse 47
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish


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Further reading

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