Froome at the 2013 Tour de Romandie
|Full name||Christopher Froome|
20 May 1985 |
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||69 kg (152 lb)|
|Current team||Team Sky|
Infobox last updated on
Born in Kenya and brought up in South Africa, since spring 2008 he has ridden under a British licence on the basis of his passport and father's and grandparents' country of birth. He is regarded as a strong mountain climber and solid time trialist, contesting the general classification.
He moved to Europe to further his career and only turned professional aged twenty-two. His potential was spotted in 2010 by Team Sky and he has become one of the team's key cyclists. Froome made his breakthrough as a Grand Tour contender during the 2011 Vuelta a España where he finished second overall, equalling Robert Millar's second places in 1985 and 1986 as the best finish by a British rider in the Vuelta.
At the 2012 Tour de France, riding as a domestique for Bradley Wiggins, Froome won stage seven, which culminated on a steep uphill finish  and finished second overall, behind only Wiggins' win in the same race as the best British performance in the race's history. He also won the bronze medal in the time trial event at the 2012 Olympic Games and finished fourth in the 2012 Vuelta a España. His first stage race win came in the 2013 Tour of Oman, followed by wins in the 2013 Criterium International, the 2013 Tour de Romandie and the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Froome moved with his family to South Africa as a fourteen year-old. Froome's ancestry is predominantly British: his mother was born in Kenya to British grandparents who emigrated to run a farm and his father is British-born. He attended St John's College in Johannesburg and subsequently studied at the University of Johannesburg.
In Kenya Froome started in mountain biking. He was guided into the sport by professional cyclist David Kinjah. Together they would train in the rural highlands north of Nairobi. This where Froome gained the passion for cycling which he has today. It was in South Africa that Froome started to participate in road cycling. It was not until he was twenty-two that he turned professional, regarded as a late age to turn professional for a successful road cyclist.
Froome started road racing in South Africa, specialising as a climber. Whilst representing Kenya at the 2006 Road World Championships, Froome crashed into an official just after the start of the time trial, causing both men to fall, although neither was injured. He finished in 36th place.
Froome turned professional in 2007 with the South African Team Konica Minolta, and was introduced to Team Barloworld by Robbie Hunter, joining them for the 2008 season, and was named in their team for the Tour de France, in which he finished eighty-fourth overall and eleventh among the young riders' category. His performances in 2008 attracted the attention of British Cycling coach, Rod Ellingworth who believed Froome had potential. Froome said: "Although I was riding under the Kenyan flag I made it clear that I had always carried a British passport and felt British. It was then we talked about racing under the Union Flag, and we stayed in touch." In 2009, Froome participated in one Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia, in which he came thirty-sixth overall, and seventh among the young riders.
In September 2009, it was announced that he was to join British cycling team, Team Sky, in 2010. Froome rode the 2010 Giro d'Italia, but was disqualified for holding on to a motorbike on Stage 19. During his first season with Sky, his best result was at the Tour du Haut Var, where he finished ninth in the overall standings. He also finished second at the 2010 British National Time Trial Championships, showing his ability in the individual time trial. In October he represented England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in Delhi, coming fifth in the time trial.
The early highlights of Froome's 2011 season were top fifteen finishes in the Vuelta a Castilla y León and the Tour de Romandie. Froome had a mixed Tour de Suisse, riding with the lead group on some mountain stages, whilst losing time on others, and finishing ninth in the final time trial.
Froome entered the Vuelta a España as the main domestique for Bradley Wiggins in the mountains. After being inseparable from Wiggins throughout the first week, he gained credit for his ride in stage nine, helping close down an attack on the final climb and finishing in fifth place, three seconds behind Wiggins, leaving both in the top twenty overall. The following day in stage ten, however, Froome out-rode Wiggins to finish second in the time-trial behind Tony Martin and to take an unexpected lead in the race. During stage eleven he helped his team to neutralise some attacks, but soon found himself unable to follow the main group. However, he managed to hang on second overall in the general classification.
After losing the jersey to Wiggins on stage eleven, Froome continued to ride in support of his leader, and on stage fourteen helped to drop rivals including Vincenzo Nibali and Joaquim Rodríguez on the final climb. Wiggins credited his lead to Froome, in a stage which also saw Froome rise back up to second in the standings. The tough stage fifteen which ended on the Alto de L'Angliru saw Froome lead the chase to stage winner Juan José Cobo, who took the overall lead at the end of the day. Froome proved stronger than Wiggins, finishing ahead of him in fourth place but forty-eight seconds behind Cobo, to retain second place in the overall classification.
On stage seventeen, Froome attacked Cobo 1 km (0.6 mi) from the summit finish, but Cobo fought back, catching Froome in the final 300 m, only for Froome to attack again to win the stage and arrive one second in front of Cobo. As a result of time bonuses, Froome reduced Cobo's lead to thirteen seconds. Froome was unable to reduce Cobo's lead any further and finished second overall in the Vuelta, equalling Robert Millar's second place in the 1987 Giro d'Italia as the highest finish by a British rider in a Grand Tour.
After the Vuelta it was revealed Froome had suffered throughout the year from the tropical bug Bilharzia, having been diagnosed in 2010. On 16 September 2011 Froome signed a new three year contract with Sky. He was part of the Great Britain team that helped Mark Cavendish win the World Road Race Championship. In October, Froome finished third overall in the first edition of the Tour of Beijing.
The early part of Froome's 2012 season was wrecked by illness. He withdrew from the Volta ao Algarve with a severe chest infection, and blood tests showed his bilharzia parasites had returned. In March, Froome was involved in a collision with a seventy-two year old pedestrian on a training ride. He returned to racing at the Tour de Romandie, where he helped Bradley Wiggins win the race overall, before participating in a training camp on a volcano in Tenerife with several of his team-mates.
Froome was selected in the Sky squad for the Tour de France. After a good performance in the opening prologue, Froome suffered a flat tyre towards the end of stage one and lost over a minute to leader Fabian Cancellara. On stage three, Froome was involved in a crash on the hilltop finish in Boulogne-sur-Mer, and was sent flying into safety barriers, but was unharmed and was given the same finishing time as his team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen, who finished second on the stage. On stage seven finishing atop the Category 1 climb to La Planche des Belles Filles, he protected his leader Wiggins and was part of a small group that came in sight of the finish line. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) attacked, Froome jumped on his wheel and won the stage with an advantage of two seconds over his leader and Evans. With that operation, he took the polka dot jersey, but lost it to Fredrik Kessiakoff of Astana the very next day. Froome finished second to Wiggins on stage nine, an individual time trial, and moved up to third overall.
On stage eleven to La Toussuire, Froome rolled all day in the mountains in front of the pack or near it, setting the pace for his leader Wiggins but was forced to take two rests during the flatter, faster sections, dropping in behind Wiggins' group leaving Wiggins out in front. Froome recovered well however and in a surprising event, due to what appear to be confused team orders, he attacked the remaining group on the last climb, just as Wiggins was easing off after the hard chase to catch Nibali 4 km (2.5 mi) away from the finish line. He subsequently received the order from his team manager to hold back and wait for yellow jersey Wiggins. He finished third of the stage after a late burst of speed. For his efforts in assisting Wiggins, Froome was lauded in the media as a super-domestique.
On stage seventeen, Froome and Wiggins finished second and third respectively on the final mountain stage to further cement their general classification positions, although Froome repeatedly waited for Wiggins on the final climb, costing him the chance of winning the stage. On stage nineteen, a time trial, Froome finished second to Wiggins, mirroring the overall standings. Wiggins went on to win the tour with Froome second, becoming the first two British riders to make the podium of the Tour de France in its 109-year history.
Froome, along with Sky team-mates Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Ian Stannard, as well as David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) were selected for Team GB's road race at the Olympic Games. Froome and Wiggins also contested in the time trial. Froome won Bronze in the time trial, with team-mate Wiggins took gold.
Froome was selected as Team Sky's leader for the Vuelta a España, where he aimed to go one better than 2011 and win his first grand tour. He lay third after the first mountain finish on stage three, and moved up to second on stage four after leader Alejandro Valverde crashed, losing fifty-five seconds to the chasing group. Froome moved down to third during the stage eleven time trial sixteen seconds off leader Rodriguez. He lost another twenty-three seconds on stage twelve putting him fifty-one seconds down. He struggled through the rest of the second half of the race. He ended up finishing fourth overall, finishing over ten minutes behind the race winner, Alberto Contador.
Froome's 2013 season began at the Tour of Oman, where he took the race lead on stage four, finishing second to Rodríguez on the summit finish of Jebel Akhdar. Froome then won the following stage to extend his lead, out-sprinting Contador and Rodríguez. He finished the race taking the overall classification, his first stage race win of his career, twenty-seven seconds ahead of Contador, with Cadel Evans twelve seconds further back. He also won the points classification.
Froome then led Team Sky at the Tirreno–Adriatico in March, where he won the fourth stage after countering an attack by Contador, Astana rider Nibali and Vini Fantini-Selle Italia's Mauro Santambrogio on the final climb to Prati di Tivo. Froome lost time on eventual winner Nibali on the penultimate stage, finishing the race in second place.
Froome returned to action, and to the top step of the rostrum, in the Critérium International. After finishing fourth in the short second stage time trial, he powered away on the last climb of the third and final stage to win, and overtake team-mate, and second place on the stage, Richie Porte in the general classification.
In late April, Froome won the 7.5 km (4.7 mi) prologue of the Tour de Romandie in Le Châble, Switzerland, taking the leader's jersey, with a six-second gap over Andrew Talansky of Garmin-Sharp. He remained in the yellow leader's jersey throughout the entire race, increasing his advantage over his rivals to almost a minute with a strong performance in the penultimate queen stage. Near the end of that stage, after losing his support riders in the peloton, Froome gave solo chase to breakaway Team Katusha rider Simon Špilak and after catching him, worked with the Slovenian to maintain and extend their lead on the peloton and improve their general classification standings. Špilak won the stage, which catapulted him into second place in the overall, with Froome on his wheel in second. In the final time trial stage Froome took third place, increasing his lead and winning his third race of the season.
Froome's final warm up race before the Tour de France was the Critérium du Dauphiné at the beginning of June. He sat second overall behind Garmin-Sharp's Rohan Dennis of Garmin after coming third in the time trial on stage four. Froome won stage five after countering a late attack by Contador, to take the race lead by 52 seconds over team-mate, Porte. Froome helped Porte solidify his second place on stage seven, and on stage eight the pair rode away from their rivals on the final climb, with only Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) able to follow. Froome took second on the stage behind Alessandro De Marchi of Cannondale, who had attacked earlier, to secure overall victory, with Porte completing a one-two, 58 seconds back. This was Froome's fourth stage race victory of the season, out of the five he had entered.
- 1st Stage 2 Tour of Mauritius
- 1st Overall Tour of Mauritius
- 1st Stages 2 & 3
- 2nd Anatomic Jock Race
- 1st Overall Mi-Août Bretonne
- 1st Stage 5 Giro delle Regioni (Under 23s)
- 1st Stage 6 Tour of Japan
- 2nd Berg en Dale Classic
- 2nd Time trial, B World Championships
- 3rd Road race, All-Africa Games
- 2nd Overall Giro del Capo
- 1st Stage 2 Giro del Capo
- 1st Anatomic Jock Race
- 2nd National Time Trial Championship
- 5th Time trial, Commonwealth Games
- 2nd Overall Vuelta a España
- 3rd Overall Tour of Beijing
- 2nd Overall Tour de France
- 3rd Time trial, Olympic Games
- 4th Overall Vuelta a España
- 4th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
- 1st Overall Tour of Oman
- 1st Overall Critérium International
- 1st Stage 3
- 1st Overall Tour de Romandie
- 1st Prologue
- 1st Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
- 1st Stage 5
- 2nd Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
- 1st Stage 4
Grand Tour general classification results timeline
|Tour de France||84||—||—||—||2|
|Vuelta a España||—||—||—||2||4|
DQ = Disqualified
WD = Withdrew
— = Did not compete
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