Chris Froome’s return to racing this week in France has earned him the plaudits of his teammates – but not everyone is happy to see him back.
The four-time Tour de France winner is racing La Route d’Occitanie in the Pyrenees and helped teammate Egan Bernal win stage three on Monday.
Froome himself finished more than five minutes further back, but said before the race’s start that he was not under pressure to perform well in the French race with the Tour less than four weeks away.
Despite reporting good form, some fans at the race took a dislike to the presence of Froome, booing him as he climbed on stage three.
In the video posted to Twitter, fans can be heard shouting at the Briton as he rides past, while simultaneously booing him.
The sad event is just the latest in a long line of Froome’s sour relationship with the French public who have repeatedly berated him and Team Ineos in the past decade.
At the 2015 Tour, he was spat on and also had urine thrown over him in the lowest moment of the race.
The seven-time Grand Tour winner, who lives in Monaco, has tried to deflect the abuse he has received and his overall appeal had seemed to improve in recent years, perhaps partly because of his ability to now speak French.
La Route d’Occitanie is his first race in France since he suffered terrible injuries last June at the Criterium du Dauphine, a crash that many observers thought he wouldn’t recover from.
But remarkably he has, and he is aiming to win a record-equalling fifth Tour this September ahead of an off-season transfer to Israel Start-Up Nation.
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