Froome toughs it out a win­ner

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BARNABY CH­ESTER­MAN

CHRIS Froome said he felt “in­cred­i­ble” af­ter win­ning his sec­ond Tour de France ti­tle yesterday in a com­pe­ti­tion that has seen him ac­cused of cheat­ing, spat upon and doused with urine.

The 30- year- old Bri­ton crossed the line on the Champs El­y­sees arm- in- arm with his Sky team­mates to clinch a sec­ond Grand Boucle crown fol­low­ing his 2013 suc­cess.

“This is such a great race, what can I say? I feel a lot of emo­tion,” said Froome af­ter fin­ish­ing the 21st leg.

“Of course it was a very, very dif­fi­cult Tour, both on the bike and off it. I’m so happy to be here in yel­low. There were a few dif­fi­cul­ties, a few ex­tra stresses out­side of the race but that’s cy­cling in 2015.”

Froome has faced ac­cu­sa­tions of cheat­ing since his last vic­tory, and com­plained that a spec­ta­tor had thrown urine on him while shout­ing “dope” dur­ing the 14th stage.

Ger­many’s An­dre Greipel won the fi­nal stage ahead of French­man Bryan Co­quard and Alexan­der Kristoff of Nor­way. Colom­bian Nairo Quin­tana fin­ished sec­ond over­all with his Span­ish Mo­vis­tar team­mate Ale­jan­dro Valverde tak­ing third, his best fin­ish on the Tour at the age of 35.

Froome backed Aus­tralia’s Richie Porte to win a Grand Tour, but says the Tas­ma­nian needs to im­prove his con­sis­tency over three- week races.

Porte will leave Team Sky at the end of the sea­son to pur­sue his own lead­er­ship goals with a yet- to- be- named team, though the 30- year- old has been heav­ily linked with BMC.

Froome said he would miss the com­pany of his close friend and reg­u­lar train­ing part­ner, who as a key do­mes­tique has now been in­stru­men­tal in help­ing Sky win three Tour de France edi­tions. And the Brit is con­fi­dent Porte has the po­ten­tial to re­alise his dream of a Grand Tour vic­tory.

“Richie is an in­cred­i­bly tal­ented climber, prob­a­bly one of the best climbers in the pelo­ton,” Froome said.

“There are of­ten oc­ca­sions where he drops me in the moun­tains, even in train­ing.

“I have no doubt that he has the abil­ity to ride GC in a grand tour.”

But he said Porte would first need to be­come more re­li­able over three- week races.

“To be able to look at a three- week race ( you need) to roll with the bad days as well as the good days.”

Pic­ture: SARAH REED

EMO­TIONAL: Chris Froome in Paris on the way to his sec­ond Tour win.

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