Chris Froome (Sky) is on course to record the most stage wins for an overall Tour de France winner since Miguel Indurain. With his third win today, the time trial in Chorges, Froome matched Indurain’s feat of three stage wins 21 years ago in 1992.
Indurain won the San Sebastián, Luxembourg and Blois time trial stages in 1992 on his way to winning his second Tour title. Armstrong won five times in 2002, but he lost those results and many more after his doping scandal was revealed over the winter.
Froome racked up his wins in the summit finish stages to Ax 3 Domaines and Mont Ventoux, and on today’s mountain time trial to Chorges. The Brit beat Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) by nine seconds over the 32-kilometre run. He now leads the overall by 4’34” on Contador.
“I’m really happy with the result from today,” Froome said in the media mixed zone. “I went into today wanting to hold back a little for the next few [mountain] days coming up. I was a prepared to lose a little time on this TT.”
In contrast, Bradley Wiggins won two stages, both the time trials, last year on his way to becoming the Tour’s first British winner. All other Tour champions between 1992 and 2012 won between zero and two stages. Oscar Pereiro in 2006 was the only one without a win, but he was just happy to take the overall title after Floyd Landis’ post-race positive test.
If Froome goes on to take the overall title, he will have a chance to win four or five stages. The stages to Alpe d’Huez and Annecy-Semnoz, both summit finishes, should suit him.
“I’m looking to keep the yellow now and not to attack and win any more stages,” Froome added. “If the opportunity presents itself, though, naturally I’ll take it.”