Chris Froome seals Tour great status with third title

Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:34pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Briton Chris Froome cemented his status as one of the greatest Tour de France riders when he secured his third title on Sunday after a three-week rocky ride.

Germany's Andre Greipel won the 21st and last stage, a 113-km ride from Chantilly ending on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Team Sky rider Froome survived two crashes and even a jog up a mountain road to add to his 2013 and 2015 triumphs and become the first rider to retain his title since Spaniard Miguel Indurain in 1995.

American Lance Armstrong won seven titles in succession from 1999 but was erased from the winners' list after admitting to doping.

"This tour has obviously taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice and we pay our respect again to those who lost their lives," Froome said of the recent incident in which a man killed 84 people when he drove a truck through a Bastille Day crowd on the seafront at the Riviera city.

"Of course these kinds of events put sport into perspective but they also show why the values of sport are so important to free society."

Frenchman Romain Bardet finished second overall 2:52 behind Froome, who had a 4:05 lead going into the last stage but was caught on the wrong side of a split in the finale of Sunday's stage.

Colombian Nairo Quintana, runner-up in 2013 and 2015 who was expected to push Froome to the limit, ended up a disappointing third, 3:08 off the pace.   Continued...

Cycling - Tour de France cycling race - The 113-km (70,4 miles) Stage 21 from Chantilly to Paris, France - 24/07/2016  - Yellow jersey leader and overall winner Team Sky rider Chris Froome of Britain celebrates on the podium.     REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol