Briton Froome lands second Tour title

Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:52pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Briton Chris Froome won his second Tour de France title in three years on Sunday to enhance his growing reputation as a grand tour specialist.

It was Team Sky's third Tour triumph in four years after Bradley Wiggins prevailed in 2012 before Froome succeeded him in 2013.

The 30-year-old Froome, a late bloomer who surged into the limelight when he took second place in the 2011 Tour of Spain, beat Colombian Nairo Quintana by one minute 12 seconds and his Movistar team mate Alejandro Valverde of Spain by 5:25.

"Le Maillot Jaune (the yellow jersey), I know its history both good or bad. I will honor this jersey and what it stands for," Froome, who was roughed up by spectators after an intimidating performance on the first mountain stage, told the crowd from the podium.

The leading trio stayed safe in Sunday's finale on the Champs Elysees, where German Andre Greipel confirmed he was the fastest by overpowering the rest of the field to take the 21st stage, his fourth win on this year's Tour.

Frenchman Bryan Coquard was second and Norway's Alexander Kristoff took third place.

"I have dreamt about this, it's the biggest stage a sprinter can win," Greipel told reporters.

Billed as a four-way battle between Froome, Quintana, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali, the Tour quickly turned into a duel after the double Tour winner from Spain and the Italian defending champion cracked in the Pyrenees.   Continued...

Team Sky rider Chris Froome of Britain (C), the race leader's yellow jersey, celebrates his overall victory with team-mates after the 109.5-km (68 miles) final 21st stage of the 102nd Tour de France cycling race from Sevres to Paris Champs-Elysees, France, July 26, 2015. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe