Chris Froome Has All but Locked Up 2013 Tour De France Victory
In Stage 20 of the 2013 Tour de France, Chris Froome finished third and in the process locked up a first-place overall finish.
Froome has a lead that essentially cannot be touched heading into the final stage of the 100th edition of this iconic race. Heading into Sunday's stage, the current leader holds a five-minute advantage over second-place cyclist Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas.
In addition to taking third in Stage 20, seventh in Stage 18 and first in both Stage 15 and 17, Froome has been cruising through France throughout the race and will get to ride the last stage as the almost-crowned 2013 champion.
If this scenario sounds familiar, it's because Froome's Team Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins was in the same boat heading into Stage 21 just last year.
Froome talked a bit about his feelings heading into the final stage to the Daily Telegraph's Ian Chadband, saying:
The way I started, riding on a little mountain bike in Kenya and now to be here, winning the biggest event of the cycling calendar, it’s difficult for me to put into words. It’s really been an amazing journey.
Going into this year's Tour de France, Froome was one of, if not the biggest favorite to finish with the yellow jersey. He finished second in last year's edition of the race to Wiggins and already won the Tour of Oman and Criterium International, among other races.
Froome has not gotten through this year's race without the allegations of doping, as noted by USA Today. Once the initial round of allegations came out, Froome was noticeably. He told Matt Westby of Sky Sports:
My teammates and I have slept on volcanoes to get ready for this, we have been away from home for months training together...Here I am being accused of being a cheat and a liar, and that is not cool.
Unless any official word comes out regarding Froome's status, however, his race this year has to be respected.
He has worn the yellow jersey quite a bit throughout this race, and there almost no reason to believe he will not be doing so after Stage 21 concludes.
Regardless of what happens between July 21 and the end of 2013, Froome has put together quite a year of cycling. Along with his other several race victories this calendar year, he'll add the 100th edition of the Tour de France to his list of first-place finishes.
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