Chris Froome wins Tour de France for third time in four years

ByPA Sport ESPN logo
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chris Froome crossed the line arm-in-arm with his Sky teammates to confirm his third Tour de France title in four years after Andre Greipel won Sunday's final stage in Paris.

Froome was met just after the finish line by his wife Michelle and son Kellan as the celebrations began in earnest.

The Briton, riding a yellow bike to match his yellow jersey, helmet, gloves and shoes, had been able to enjoy the traditional procession into Paris, sipping champagne and providing his teammates with a round of celebratory beers during the final 113km trip from Chantilly to the Champs Élysées.

The 31-year-old had effectively sealed victory by staying upright on Saturday's stage 20 to Morzine ahead of Sunday's largely processional stage.

With a four-minute advantage in his pocket he was able to sit up and enjoy the moment with his teammates, conceding time in the final metres to leave him with a final winning margin of two minutes and 52 seconds over Frenchman Romain Bardet.

Froome becomes only the eighth man, not counting the disgraced Lance Armstrong, to win three or more Tours and will now have his sights set on the record of five jointly held by Jacques Anquetil, Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx.

German Greipel, also the winner in Paris 12 months ago, pipped the late-charging world champion Peter Sagan to the line in the traditional sprint after racing clear of Norway's Alexander Kristoff on the run-in.

"I can't describe it," said Greipel. "I'm just super proud of what we've achieved today. I've raced for three weeks for that. The team kept believing in me."

French hope Bryan Coquard was denied the chance to go for victory as he was held up by a late mechanical.

There were late dramas, with Etixx-QuickStep's Marcel Kittel hit by a mechanical problem about 30km from the finish, while Coquard pulled over with a puncture with the finish line almost in sight.

Kristoff attacked first but Greipel, with his Lotto-Soudal lead-out train doing its job on the final approach, burst clear to make sure he did not leave this Tour empty-handed.

While Froome was confirmed as the overall winner, Tinkoff's Sagan wrapped up his fifth straight victory in the points classification.

The 23-year-old Briton Adam Yates of Orica-BikeExchange took the white jersey as the best young rider in the race while Sagan's team-mate Rafal Majka was confirmed in the king of the mountains' polka-dot jersey.

Nairo Quintana was third overall, three minutes and eight seconds behind Froome, while Yates was fourth, a further 21 seconds back.