FROOME'S KEY TOUR MO­MENTS

Chris Froome tells us about the three mo­ments that de­fined his third Tour win

Procycling - - Contents - I n ter­view: Ed­ward Picker ing Pho­tog­ra­phy: T im De Waele

Atop the Col de Peyre­sourde on stage 8, the favourites were all to­gether and were ex­pected to re­main so down to the fin­ish in Lu­chon. But Froome at­tacked over the top and carved out a small ad­van­tage on the de­scent, us­ing a big­ger gear and adopt­ing a stream­lined and very pre­car­i­ous-look­ing po­si­tion. He won the stage and took the yel­low jer­sey

I knew I wouldn’t get a minute or even half a minute. I knew it would only be a few sec­onds but that was enough to change the dy­namic of the race, put me in yel­low and let me ride more de­fen­sively.

We’d looked at the route and talked about the de­scent with Ni­co­las Por­tal. He showed me what it looked like on the map. It was stacked at the top with a cou­ple of switch­backs but then there were long straights. Fast. I said, 'Let’s see what the sit­u­a­tion is, but I’m go­ing to need a 54-tooth chain­ring for that de­scent.’ If Quin­tana had at­tacked over the fi­nal climb and I wasn’t able to fol­low, I was go­ing to need to bridge the gap on the de­scent, so it was best I had the gears to try to pedal it out.

Com­ing up to the last few hun­dred me­tres of the climb, there had been quite a few at­tacks and I can re­mem­ber none of us re­ally be­ing able to shake each other off. Quin­tana at­tacked, I at­tacked, Bardet at­tacked, I think Richie gave a few lit­tle digs. But no­body was go­ing clear and com­ing to the top I thought, 'Let’s wait and just over the crest I’m go­ing to give it an­other try and just see if I can catch peo­ple off guard.’

I re­mem­ber be­ing ec­static when I had a gap in the first switch­back. It was only 20m but I knew that was a gap I could work with. Who­ever was chas­ing would have to be go­ing at least as hard as I was. Know­ing I had the gear­ing gave me con­fi­dence. I put my head down, got into the aero tuck po­si­tion and just went for it.

I knew they would have seen me go­ing for the points [ear­lier], seen me sit up and as­sumed I would be do­ing the same thing on the last climb when I went for it, so it was the per­fect sce­nario. It’s the only time I’ll ever be able to use that tac­tic.

Froome used an ex­treme po­si­tion: sat on the top­tube, chest on the stem, ped­alling

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