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Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

Chris Froome fin­ishes off third con­sec­u­tive Tour de France vic­tory in Paris.

PARIS — Rid­ing a bright yel­low bike to match his shiny leader’s jersey, de­fend­ing cham­pion Chris Froome won his fourth and most chal­leng­ing Tour de France ti­tle on Sun­day.

The Kenyan-born Bri­tish rider fin­ished 54 sec­onds ahead of Colom­bian Rigob­erto Uran over­all, the small­est mar­gin of his vic­to­ries.

This was the third con­sec­u­tive vic­tory for the Team Sky rider. His first in 2013 came the year af­ter for­mer team­mate Bradley Wig­gins sparked off an era of Bri­tish dom­i­nance.

French­man Ro­main Bardet, run­ner-up last year, placed 2 min­utes, 20 sec­onds be­hind in third place, deny­ing Spaniard Mikel Landa — Froome’s team­mate — a podium spot by just one sec­ond. Ital­ian Fabio Aru fin­ished fifth.

As per tra­di­tion, the 21st stage was re­served for sprint­ers and mostly a pro­ces­sion for Froome, 32, and the other over­all lead­ers.

Dutch­man Dy­lan Groe­newe­gen won the fi­nal stage in a dash to the line, edg­ing Ger­man rider An­dre Greipel and Nor­we­gian Ed­vald Boas­son Ha­gen.

Mo­ments later, Froome and the rest of the pelo­ton crossed the line af­ter eight laps of an eye-catch­ing cir­cuit around the city’s land­marks, fin­ish­ing as usual on the famed Champs-El­y­sees.

Froome now needs only one more ti­tle to match the Tour record of five shared by Jac­ques An­quetil, Ed­die Mer­ckx, Bernard Hin­ault and Miguel In­durain.

Froome sealed his vic­tory Satur­day, fin­ish­ing third in the time trial in Mar­seille where he put more time into Uran and Bardet, who dropped from sec­ond to third.

Froome’s team­mates wore a yel­low stripe on the back of their Team Sky shirts. They al­lowed them­selves a flute of cham­pagne, chink­ing glasses with leader Froome, as they ca­su­ally rolled through the streets un­der cloudy skies be­side cheer­ing fans pack­ing the roads into Paris.

AP/THIBAULT CAMUS

Chris Froome cel­e­brates with his son Kel­lan af­ter win­ning his third con­sec­u­tive Tour de France cham­pi­onship Sun­day in Paris.

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