FROOME'S KEY TOUR MOMENTS
Chris Froome tells us about the three moments that defined his third Tour win
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