Chris Froome: Welcome to the fast lane

I’m still adjusting to cycling’s new-found fame. It’s a constant cause of amazement how far our sport and pastime has come in a relatively short space of time.

We’re now at a stage when it’s a talking point when a cyclist doesn’t win BBC Sports Personality of Year. Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Chris Hoy, Chris Froome: the great British public can name their fair share of racers these days and cycling safety issues, particular in the capital, are now rightly of national concern.

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Perhaps then I shouldn’t be surprised to be invited to a reception hosted by the French ambassador in honour of Chris Froome. Our hero was awarded four silver medals and a specially commissioned piece of art while Christian Prudhomme, the Tour organiser, chose the moment to praise next year’s Grand Départ in Yorkshire and third stage to London.

Froome was as polite and patient as always in this, the latest in what seems an endless succession of official and PR functions. The previous evening he had been in Leeds for the BBC awards show, then it was down to London for this lunch, before visiting the BBC in Salford the following afternoon.

Next stop was Monaco en route to South Africa for Christmas. At least that’s when preparation for that Tour title defence begins in earnest.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly