Chris Froome

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Chris Froome
Critérium du Dauphiné 2013 - 4e étape (clm) - 3 (cropped).JPG
Personal information
Full name Christopher Froome
Nickname Froomey[1]
Born (1985-05-20) 20 May 1985 (age 28)
Nairobi, Kenya
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Weight 69 kg (152 lb; 10.9 st)[2]
Team information
Current team Team Sky
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type All-rounder
Amateur team(s)
Super C Academy
Hi-Q Super Academy
Professional team(s)
2007
2008–2009
2010–
Team Konica Minolta
Barloworld
Team Sky
Major wins

Grand Tours

Tour de France
General classification (2013)
4 individual stages (2012, 2013)
Vuelta a España
1 individual stage (2011)

Stage races

Critérium du Dauphiné (2013)
Tour de Romandie (2013)
Critérium International (2013)
Tour of Oman (2013, 2014)
Infobox last updated on
30 March 2014

Christopher Froome (born 20 May 1985) is a Kenyan-born British professional road racing cyclist and winner of the 2013 Tour de France, riding for UCI ProTeam Team Sky.[3][4] Brought up in Kenya and South Africa, he has ridden since 2008 under a British licence on the basis of his passport and his father and grandparents' country of birth.[5] He is considered one of the best climbers and GC contenders in modern cycling for his stamina.[citation needed][6] In 2007 Froome turned professional at the age of 22 with Team Konica Minolta. He moved to Europe to further his career, joining the British-based team, Barloworld. In 2010 he moved to Team Sky and 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.

At the 2012 Tour de France, riding as a super domestique for Bradley Wiggins, Froome won stage seven and finished second overall, behind only Wiggins' win in the same race as the best British performance in the race's history. In the same year he also won the bronze medal in the time trial event at the Olympic Games and finished fourth in the Vuelta a España. His first stage race win came in 2013, in the Tour of Oman, followed by wins in the Critérium International, the Tour de Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France.

Early life and amateur career[edit]

Froome was born on 20 May 1985 in Nairobi, Kenya,[7] to Kenyan-born mother Jane and father Clive, a former hockey player who represented England at under-19 level.[8] His mother's British parents emigrated from Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England to Kenya to run a crop farm.[3][9][10] Froome has two older brothers, Jonathan and Jeremy, who went to Rugby School in Warwickshire, England.[8] At the age of 12, his mother took him to his first organised bike race, where he met professional cyclist David Kinjah, who became Froome's mentor. They trained together, mountain biking in the rural highlands north of Nairobi.[8][11][12]

After finishing primary school at the Banda School in Nairobi,[13] Froome moved to South Africa as a 14-year-old to attend St John's College in Johannesburg.[12][14][15] He then studied economics for two years at the University of Johannesburg.[16][17][18] It was in South Africa that Froome started to participate in road cycling. It was not until he was 22 that he turned professional.[16] Froome started road racing in South Africa, specialising as a climber.[19] Whilst representing Kenya at the 2006 Road World Championships in the under-23 category in Salzburg, Austria, Froome crashed into an official just after the start of the time trial,[2] causing both men to fall; although neither was injured,[20] he finished in 36th place.[21]

Professional career[edit]

2007–2010: Early years[edit]

Froome turned professional in 2007, aged 22, with the South African team, Konica Minolta, withdrawing from university two years into his degree in economics.[22] He competed from April to September for the Union Cycliste Internationale's World Cycling Centre (WCC) team based in Aigle, Switzerland, in the U23 Nations Cup.[23] In May he rode his first stage race, the Giro delle Regioni, winning stage five, riding for WCC.[22][24] In late-May he won stage six of the Tour of Japan, attacking from a breakaway in the 14 lap circuit in Shuzenji.[25] In June he competed at the "B" world championships in Cape Town, placing second to China's Haijun Ma in the 26.8 km (16.7 mi)-long time trial.[26][27] In July he claimed a bronze medal in the road race at the All-Africa Games in Algiers, Algeria.[28] On 26 September, he placed 41st in the under-23 time trial at the world championships in Stuttgart, three minutes and 30 seconds behind the gold medalist, Lars Boom (Netherlands).[29]

Froome at the 2008 Tour de France, riding in his first season for Barloworld.

Froome was introduced to the British-based, South African-backed, UCI Continental team, Barloworld, by South African Robbie Hunter, signing with them for the 2008 season.[14][22] In March he finished second overall in the Giro del Capo in South Africa, one minute and 41 seconds behind his team-mate, Christian Pfannberger.[30] Over April and March, he rode the Critérium International, Gent-Wevelgem and the Ardennes classics. He made his Grand Tour debut when he was named in Barloworld's squad for the Tour de France – becoming Kenya's first participant,[31] in which he finished 84th overall and 11th among the young rider classification.[32] In October Froome finished fourth overall in the Herald Sun Tour in Victoria, Australia.[33] 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."[3]

Froome claimed his first professional win in March 2009, with the second stage of the Giro del Capo in Durbanville, South Africa, attacking a ten-strong breakaway with 30 km (18.6 mi) and finishing four minutes ahead.[34] He then participated in the Giro d'Italia, in which he came 36th overall, and seventh young rider classification.[35] In July he won a minor one day race, Anatomic Jock Race, in Barberton South Africa.[36]

In September 2009, it was announced that he was to join British cycling team, Team Sky, for the 2010 season.[37] Froome rode the 2010 Giro d'Italia. On stage 19 he was suffering with a knee injury and on the Mortirolo Pass he was seen holding on to a police motorbike. He had been dropped by the gruppetto, and intended to reach the feed zone and retire from the race. While holding the motorbike, the race commissaire ordered him to stop and withdraw from the race.[38][39] During his first season with Sky, his best result was at the Tour du Haut Var, where he finished ninth in the overall standings.[40] He also finished second at the 2010 national time trial championships, showing his ability in the discipline.[41] In October he represented England at the Commonwealth Games, in Delhi, coming fifth in the 40 km (24.9 mi)-long time trial, two minutes and 20 seconds behind the winner, Scotland's David Millar.[42]

2011: Breakthrough[edit]

Froome and Juan José Cobo, on stage 19 of the 2011 Vuelta a España.

The early highlights of Froome's 2011 season were top 15 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.[43]

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 20 overall.[44] The following day in stage ten, however, Froome out-rode Wiggins to finish second in the time-trial behind HTC-Highroad's Tony Martin and to take an unexpected lead in the race. Froome averaged 405 watts over 56 minutes in this time-trial, proving himself as a strong time-trialist.[45] [46] During stage 11 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 in the general classification.[47]

After losing the jersey to Wiggins on stage 11, Froome continued to ride in support of his leader, and on stage 14 helped to drop rivals including Liquigas-Cannondale rider Vincenzo Nibali and Joaquim Rodríguez (Team Katusha) 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.[48] The tough stage 15 which ended on the Alto de L'Angliru saw Froome lead the chase to stage winner, Juan José Cobo of Geox-TMC, who took the overall lead at the end of the day. Froome proved stronger than Wiggins, finishing ahead of him in fourth place but 48 seconds behind Cobo, to retain second overall.[49]

On stage 17, Froome attacked Cobo 1 km (0.6 mi) from the summit finish, but Cobo fought back, catching Froome in the final 300 metres, only for Froome to attack again to win the stage and arrive one second in front of Cobo.[50] As a result of time bonuses, Froome reduced Cobo's lead to 13 seconds. Froome was unable to reduce Cobo's lead any further and finished second overall in the Vuelta, equalling Robert Millar's second places in the 1985 and 1986 editions of the Vuelta and the 1987 Giro d'Italia, as the best finish by a British rider in the Vuelta and the highest finish by a British rider in a Grand Tour.[51]

There was an inconsistency about him. The question wasn't why he was good, the question was why we'd only seeing glimpses. Why isn't he like that all the time? When the illness was discovered, retrospectively, it made a lot of sense."

David Brailsford on Froome's bilharzia infection.[52]

After the Vuelta it was revealed Froome had suffered throughout the year from the parasitic disease bilharzia (schistosomiasis), having been diagnosed in 2010.[53] It has since been speculated that Froome may have had the parasitic infection for much of his adult life and during his early cycling career.[8][54] The discovery and subsequent treatment of the illness has been used to explain Froome's rapid rise to form during 2011.[14][52] On 16 September 2011, Froome signed a new three-year contract with Sky.[55] He was part of the Great Britain team that helped Mark Cavendish win the world road race championship.[56] In October, Froome finished third overall in the first edition of the Tour of Beijing, 26 seconds behind overall winner, Tony Martin.[57]

2012: Super-domestique[edit]

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.[53][58] In March, Froome was involved in a collision with a 72-year-old pedestrian on a training ride.[59] He returned to racing in May, for the Tour de Romandie, where he helped Wiggins win the race overall,[60] before participating in a training camp on a volcano in Tenerife with several of his team-mates.[61]

Froome on stage 19 of the Tour de France, where he finished second to Wiggins in the general classification.

Froome was selected in the Sky squad for the Tour de France. After placing 11th in the opening prologue,[62] he suffered a punctured tyre 9 mi (14.5 km) from the end of stage one and lost over a minute to overall leader Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan).[63] On stage three, Froome was involved in a crash on the hill-top finish in Boulogne-sur-Mer, and was sent flying into safety barriers, but was unharmed and was given the same finishing time as the winner, Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale.[64] 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. Froome took the lead in the mountains classification.[65] With that operation, he took the polka dot jersey, but lost it to Fredrik Kessiakoff of Astana the very next day.[66] Froome finished second to Wiggins on stage nine, an individual time trial, and moved up to third overall.[67]

On stage 11 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.[68] For his efforts in assisting Wiggins, Froome was lauded in the media as a super-domestique.[69] On stage 17, Froome and Wiggins finished second and third respectively on the final mountain stage to further cement their general classification positions,[70] although Froome repeatedly waited for Wiggins on the final climb, costing him the chance of winning the stage.[71] On stage 19, a time trial, Froome finished second to Wiggins, mirroring the overall standings.[72] 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.[73]

Froome during the time trial at the 2012 Olympics, finishing the race with the bronze medal.

Froome, along with Sky team-mates Wiggins, Cavendish and Ian Stannard, as well as David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) were selected for Team GB's road race at the Olympic Games.[74] Froome and Wiggins also contested in the time trial.[75] Froome won Bronze in the time trial, with team-mate Wiggins taking gold.[76] 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.[77] He lay third after the first mountain finish on stage three,[78] and moved up to second on stage four after leader Alejandro Valverde crashed, losing 55 seconds to the chasing group.[79] Froome moved down to third during the stage 11 time trial 16 seconds off leader Rodriguez.[80] He lost another 23 seconds on stage twelve putting him 51 seconds down.[81] 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.[82]

2013: Tour de France win[edit]

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.[1] Froome then won the following stage to extend his lead, out-sprinting Contador and Rodríguez.[83] He finished the race taking the overall classification, his first stage race win of his career, 27 seconds ahead of Contador, with Cadel Evans 12 seconds further back. He also won the points classification.[84] 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.[85] Froome lost time on eventual winner Nibali on the penultimate stage, finishing the race in second place.[86] 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.[87]

Froome in the leader's jersey at the 2013 Tour de Romandie

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.[88] 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.[89][90] In the final time trial stage Froome took third place, increasing his lead and winning his third race of the season.[91]

Froome's final warm up race before the Tour de France, for which he was favourite, was the Critérium du Dauphiné at the beginning of June.[92] He sat second overall behind Garmin-Sharp's Rohan Dennis after coming third in the time trial on stage four.[93] Froome won stage five after countering a late attack by Contador, to take the race lead by 52 seconds over team-mate, Porte.[94] Froome helped Porte solidify his second place on stage seven,[95] 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 major stage race victory of the season, out of the five he had entered.[96][97]

Froome's Tour de France got off to a nervy start as he crashed in the neutralised section of the first stage on the isle of Corsica, but he was unharmed and avoided going down in the large crash towards the end of the stage.[98] After staying out of trouble for the rest of the first week, Froome won stage eight, the first mountain stage of the race, finishing on Ax 3 Domaines, by launching an attack after team-mates Peter Kennaugh and Porte had brought back an earlier attack by Movistar Team's Nairo Quintana, and distanced most of Froome's rivals. Froome's winning margin on the stage was 51 seconds over Porte, and one minute 25 seconds to Valverde (Movistar Team) in third. This gave Froome the overall lead in the Tour for the first time and the lead in the mountains classification.[99][100] On the following stage however, Froome was left islolated as no team-mates were able to follow repeated attacks early in the stage by Garmin-Sharp, Movistar Team and Team Saxo-Tinkoff riders. Despite being without any team support for most of the stage, Froome was able to successfully defend his lead by following several attacks by Quintana and Valverde.[101] Froome then finished second in the individual time trial on the 12th stage, 12 seconds behind Tony Martin, to put further time into all of his rivals.[102] However, on stage 13 Saxo-Tinkoff caused a split in the peloton due to strong crosswinds, which Froome missed. Team Saxo-Tinkoff's Contador and Roman Kreuziger, and Laurens ten Dam and Bauke Mollema of Belkin Pro Cycling all made the selection, and took 69 seconds out of Froome's lead, although Valverde lost over ten minutes and slipped out of contention.[103]

Froome won stage 15 finishing on Mont Ventoux. Kennaugh and Porte dropped all of the leading contenders except Contador on the early part of the climb, before Froome surged clear of Contador with 7 km (4.3 mi) remaining and caught Quintana, who had attacked earlier in the climb. The pair worked together to put time into their rivals, before Froome dropped Quintana with 1.2 km (0.7 mi) remaining and soloed to the finish. This gave Froome a lead of four minutes and 14 seconds over Mollema in second place, with Contador a further 11 seconds back. Froome also regained the lead in the mountains classification.[104][105] He won the stage 17 time trial, finishing the 32 km (20 mi) course from Embrun to Chorges in 51 minutes 33 seconds, with Contador coming in nine seconds behind him, in second place.[106] Froome defended his lead during the Alpine stages, extending his overall league as Mollema and Contador dropped back.[107]

Froome won the general classification on 21 July with a final time of 83 hours, 56 minutes and 40 seconds, four minutes and 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Quintana. He was also King of the Mountains for six stages, however he ultimately finished second to Quintana in that classification.[108] Froome's overall win and stage victories in the Tour win put him at the top of the UCI World Tour ranking, with 587, ahead of Sagan on 409.[109] Partly because the 2013 Tour was the first since Lance Armstrong's admission of doping, such questions were asked of Froome. He insisted that he and his team were clean and stated that the questioning saddened him.[110] Froome was drug tested 19 times during the Tour[108] and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford offered the World Anti-Doping Agency all performance data they had on Froome as evidence.[111]

In October Froome was named winner of the prestigious Vélo d'Or award for the best rider of the year.[112]

Personal life[edit]

Froome met Welsh-born South African Michelle Cound in 2009, through South African rider Daryl Impey. In 2011 they moved to Monaco together and she became his fiancée in March 2013.[113][114] Froome dedicated his Tour de France win to his mother, who died of cancer five weeks before his Tour debut in 2008.[31][108]

Career achievements[edit]

Major results[edit]

Source:[115][116]

2005
1st Stage 2 Tour of Mauritius
2006
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Tour of Mauritius
1st Stages 2 & 3
2nd Anatomic Jock Race
2007
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Mi-Août Bretonne
1st Stage 5 Giro delle Regioni (Under-23)
1st Stage 6 Tour of Japan
2nd Berg en Dale Classic
2nd Time trial, B World Championships
3rd Road race, All-Africa Games
2008
2nd Overall Giro del Capo
3rd Giro dell'Appennino
4th Overall Herald Sun Tour
2009
1st Stage 2 Giro del Capo
1st Anatomic Jock Race
2010
2nd National Time Trial Championships
5th Time trial, Commonwealth Games
9th Overall Tour du Haut Var
2011
2nd Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 17
Held Jersey red.svg Red Jersey for Stage 11
3rd Overall Tour of Beijing
2012
2nd Overall Tour de France
1st Stage 7
Held Jersey polkadot.svg Polka Dot Jersey for Stage 8
3rd Bronze medal.svg Time trial, Olympic Games
4th Overall Vuelta a España
4th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
2013
1st Jersey red.svg Overall Tour of Oman
1st Jersey green.svg Points classification
1st Stage 5
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Critérium International
1st Stage 3
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Tour de Romandie
1st Prologue
1st Jersey yellow-bluebar.svg Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
1st Stage 5
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Tour de France
1st Stages 8, 15 & 17 (ITT)
Held Jersey polkadot.svg Polka Dot Jersey for Stage 9 & from Stages 16–20
2nd Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stage 4
3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Team time trial, Road World Championships
2014
1st Jersey red.svg Overall Tour of Oman
1st Stage 5
6th Overall Volta a Catalunya

Grand Tour general classification results timeline[edit]

Source:[38][115]

Grand Tour 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Pink jersey Giro d'Italia 34 DSQ
Yellow jersey Tour de France 83 2 1
Red jersey Vuelta a España 2 4
Legend
Did not compete
DSQ Disqualified

Other major stage races[edit]

Race 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Paris–Nice  –  –  –  –  –
Tirreno-Adriatico  –  –  – 2  –
Volta a Catalunya 71 61  –  – 6
Tour of the Basque Country  –  –  –  –
Tour de Romandie DNF 15 123 1
Critérium du Dauphiné  –  – 4 1
Tour de Suisse  – 47  –  –

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]