It’s official – Britain has a new stage race superstar. Chris Froome came within just 13 seconds of pulling off the biggest Grand Tour upset of modern times in the Vuelta and must now be considered a genuine contender for next year’s Tour de France.

Why not? Three weeks ago even a stage win from the Sky rider would have been a remarkable achievement. Nobody, Chris included, knew there was such untapped potential. Here’s a rider who has proved he can time trial and climb with the best and he’s still only 26.

You’ve got to feel a little bit sorry for Bradley Wiggins. Just eight weeks after having his collarbone fixed, he finished third in Spain, one place better than his breakthrough performance in the 2099 Tour de France. That’s a good ride, only not quite as good as Froome who not only managed to drop his team leader on the steepest slopes but he also added insult to injury by beating his boss on the flat TT stage.

Froome even manages to match Wiggins in the comeback stakes. Chris didn’t even start the Tour de France after he was wiped out by the rare tropical disease bilharzia.

This Sky man had no form and it looked as though he was out of a job. What a difference a couple of months can make. After this giant step it seems just about anything is possible from Chris Froome.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • matspeed

    Ironically, Wiggo’s third would have been hailed as brilliant but for Froome’s second. As the article states, beating him at both climbing and timetrialling despite Wiggo’s ‘better form’ than the TdeF must rate up there as one of the best unexpected Kenyan/British performances ever.

    As far as Herbies comment “There have been loads of riders who have suddenly got on the podium of a major tour, and been heralded as the next likely winner, only to fail to shine as bright ever again”…….Wiggo after his 4th place in the TdeF?… year, crap

  • Gary

    Isn’t it wonderful for Chris Froome to be suddenly british?, I do recall the last article I read in CW he was introduced as” Kenyan born”, I’m actually more surprised that Wiggo wasn’t described as aussie offspring , lol, come on, get off that band wagon CW and be fair, I’m from Northern Ireland, which is classed as British, yet I cannot join british cycling??? why, is it because I’m Kenyan????

  • Stephen Nightingale

    Wiggo always rides conservatively, whereas Chris Froome is prepared to attack when it will advance his cause. That’s a necessary attribute for an aspiring Tour winner.

  • Herbie

    We have to be a bit careful with this view of: ‘Hail Froomey, move over Wiggo’! There have been loads of riders who have suddenly got on the podium of a major tour, and been heralded as the next likely winner, only to fail to shine as bright ever again. Bradley Wiggins has a pedigree and record of performing,and with 2 grand tour rides in the top 5 spread over a couple of years, plus a win in the Dauphine. With only 8 weeks since a pretty bad collarbone break and still requiring strapping, he demonstrated that even without recent racing he can perform consistantly at the very top level. Think what Brad could achieve with ideal preparation. I think we should be cautious looking anywhere else for our first British Grand Tour winner.