Do the French really hate Chris Froome?

Sky's leader has accused the local media of whipping up sentiment against him, leading to physical and verbal attacks at the roadside — but how do the French really feel about Chris Froome?

Chris Froome celebrates receiving the polka dot climbers' jersey after stage 14 of the Tour de France (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

For the most part, this Tour de France has been blessed with typically strong support from the French public — but boos, punches and even flying urine have spoiled the race in the last few days.

Some — including Team Sky themselves — have pointed the finger at the media, who have whipped up fervour against a dominant rider threatening to run away with the Tour. Others say that  Sky have themselves to blame for a clinical and even arrogant public face. Or is it, in fact, that Tour de France crowds love an underdog so much that they can't bear to look at a winner?

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.