Less than 24 hours after crossing the line on the Champs-Élysées to win his fourth Tour de France, Chris Froome was in the slightly less glamourous surroundings of Aalst, Belgium for the first of the traditional post-Tour criteriums.
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Having enjoyed a victory party in Paris on Sunday night, hot-footed it to the UK for an interview with Sky Sports on Monday morning, then made it back across the Channel for the race on Monday evening, Froome might not have been at his best, but still, somehow, managed to make it into the winning break with Belgian champion Oliver Naesen and Thomas De Gendt.
No doubt the organisers were very pleased to see three such high-profile riders at the front of their race, with Naesen defeating Froome, resplendent in his yellow jersey, in the final sprint for the line.
The good news for all three riders was that they all received the same fine prizes on the podium. Namely a giant hat courtesy of race sponsor Napoleon Games, and a good few litres of Malheur beer. Perfect preparation for the start of Froome’s assault on the Vuelta.