Never mind the greatest ever British performance, Chris Froome’s ride to the summit of Mont Ventoux now ranks as one of the most spectacular by anyone in the 100 editions of the Tour de France.
Eddy Merckx was the only other rider to have ever won on this mountain in the yellow jersey and the Team Sky leader was every bit as dominant with his attacking style.
He could have simply sat with the leading group, defending his comfortable advantage, but conservative riding isn’t for Chris Froome. He always said he had come to race and that was most certainly the case on Sunday. There were still more than seven kilometres to ride up some of the steepest slopes in France but Froome was impatient to crack Contador.
“I didn’t want to start sitting up and playing games. Now was the time to get rid of Alberto,” he explained.
And get rid of him he certainly did with an attack of unprecedented ferocity that not only distanced Contador with frightening ease but also propelled him across to Nairo Quintana.
That certainly should have been it: Froome had gained time on all his main rivals and he could have ridden with the Colombian to the finish. But our man doesn’t just want to wear yellow, he wants to prove he’s the best and he attacked again and again until at the third attempt his opponent cracked.
The race is virtually won.
Froome’s biggest challenge now is to win over the cynics who are all too keen to accuse any exceptional athlete of doping. ‘Believe in better,’ is the Sky slogan. Why not believe in the best? His name is Chris Froome.
This article was first published in the July 18 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!