Many saw him as predictable and perhaps even boring in the way that he would put his team on the front, churn everyone out the back and then ride away to victory.
This year, however, he’s taking the race to his rivals in a much different way. On stage 11 he joined a breakaway group of four that was instigated by Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), and the quartet rode away to take the stage.
The chasing bunch didn’t seem to know what to do about it, and began their chase far too late. In the end Froome only gained 12 seconds (six on the line and six again for finishing second on the stage), but the psychological victory is likely to be much more significant.
Froome’s daring descent to take yellow
If Froome takes his third overall win with victory at the 2016 Tour de France, it will probably be by more than 23 seconds.
But that was the margin he gained with this daring downhill attack, and it may well be that time deficit that any win is remembered for, coupled with his ride on stage 11.
Under the guise of a small attack for the sake of mountains classification points, Froome kicked over the top of the final climb on stage eight and away he went.
Using an unconventional pedal-while-descending style, the Team Sky leader increased his advantage and on the downhill and held it on the flat run in to the finish line.
He took the stage win and gained the yellow jersey, and now all eyes will be on whether he can keep it all the way to Paris.
Tour de France preview: Mont Ventoux
Standing alone, the mountain climb should finally give us the kind of GC time gaps we’re used to.
… and here’s proof that it’s a bit blowy up there!
Pro-cyclist style guide
Velon went on the hunt for the most stylist rider in the peloton, with some amusing responses.
Riders seem to care a lot about their hair, or at least think their rivals in the bunch are worrying about it.
We’ve all felt this way
Ever been stuck at the side of the road with a tyre that just won’t budge after an ill-timed puncture? Well then you’ve probably thought about reacting similar to this BMX rider.
A deep breath and another go with the tyre levers normally does the trick so such extreme measures need to come to fruition.
Cav wasn’t happy
Warning: video contains verbal and gestured swearing
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) was off the back early on stage 10 of the Tour as the peloton went over the highest point in the race.
He and Bernie Eisel soon got back on during the descent and sat in for most of the rest of the stage.
When he needed a comfort break, however, the cameraman followed him as though he’d been dropped again, and Cavendish made his feelings about this abundantly clear.