Riders and directors pay tribute to 'Tour de France great' Chris Froome

Froome's colleagues laud the praise on the four time Tour de France winner

Chris Froome celebrates with his son at the 2017 Tour de France in Paris (ASO/Pauline Ballet)
(Image credit: Pauline Ballet)

Chris Froome's "cannibal instincts" are helping him to become one of cycling's greats, if he is not already after four Tour de France wins.

The 32-year-old Brit confirmed his win in Paris, the most hotly contested of his four titles. Along with those titles, Froome counts seven stage wins, three Critérium du Dauphiné titles and two overall Tour de Romandie victories.

>>> Chris Froome: ‘I never dreamed of being named alongside Merckx, Anquetil, Hinault, and Indurain’

"He is normal off the bike, someone you can become friends with, but this guy has won the Tour de France four times and been on the podium in the Vuelta," Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal said.

Chris Froome on stage 18 of the 2017 Tour de France (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

"On the bike he has his strength and this cannibal instinct. He just wants to win and his team-mates have to keep him calm.

"When there's a little bit of crosswinds he just wants to go. To be honest, that is strange because when you know, him he's quite calm."

Froome showed that drive with attacks downhill and in the wind in the 2016 Tour and when he and his Sky team helped split the group on the Romans-sur-Isere finish this year.

"He doesn't get the respect for how much of an intelligent rider he is, sometimes he seems erratic or he just moves freely, but he's intelligent and thinks things through," team-mate Luke Rowe said.

"That's what you want as a helper, someone with confidence.

Chris Froome and Team Sky attack in the crosswinds at the Tour de France (ASO)
(Image credit: ASO/Alex BROADWAY)

"He's learned and got used to the pressure of it all. The better you deal with that, the better you are. With years of experience, he's dealt with that pressure and the hype that much better."

Froome's win puts him ahead of American Greg LeMond and two others with three wins. Only four, the greats, have gone on to win five times.

"If you win four editions of this race then you are one of cycling's greats," Dutch rider Laurens Ten Dam (Sunweb) said.

"The way he does it is may be different than how they did in the past with riders like Bernard Hinault but cycling's changed. They would have attacked more and raced the Classics as well.

"You can admire Chris Froome's focus. Look at the way he was going in the crosswinds this year or last year, or how he ran on Mont Ventoux.

Watch: The best of the 2017 Tour de France

"That shows this mentality and focus on winning, of thinking only about getting to the line as fast as possible."

"Just look at what you saw in Romans-sur-Isere in the crosswinds, when he was there and fighting," Bahrain-Merida sports director, Tristan Hoffman said.

"You have to remember that he began in a hard position from Africa and then Barloworld. It's hard for many riders to make their way like that, but Froome did it."

Froome nearly won the Vuelta a España already twice in 2011 and 2016, adding up to three second place finishes in the Spanish Grand Tour. He plans on racing the 2017 edition this year, and taking revenge.

"He's a complete rider and a good example for the sport," manager at LottoNL-Jumbo, Richard Plugge added.

"I would like him to do some more in other races like the Giro d'Italia, but you can understand why he just focuses on the Tour de France."

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