After completing 21 stages and riding 3,404 kilometers, Christopher Froome has won the 100th Tour de France thanks to a dominant performance throughout the race.
The cyclist finished in second place behind Bradley Wiggins a year ago and was one of the favorites coming into this year. However, it is never easy winning this grueling event. This was especially true after a slow start from the Sky Procycling competitor.
Like the Tour de France itself, Froome's opening few stages did not go according to plan. Organizers were forced to adjust the end of Stage 1 after a bus crashed into the finish line, as caught by Peter Schmeichel:
Can you believe it, a bus is stuck on the finishing line of the first stage if the Tour de France. pic.twitter.com/qiFhmve8hN— Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) June 29, 2013
Froome was part of a collision late and only managed to finish in 41st place, although the confusion of the final moments fortunately led to everyone getting the same time.
Over the next few stages, he continued to get closer to the front, but he did not make up too much ground in the mostly flat courses. After Stage 7, Froome stood in seventh place.
However, Stage 8 was a trip up the Pyrenees, and it gave the climbing expert a chance to separate himself from the pack. He won the stage and earned the yellow jersey with a 51-second lead. Amazingly, this was the last time he had to wear his normal colors during the entire race.
The South African native and British national showed off his versatility with an impressive performance in Stage 12 when he finished in second place in the time trial. Those who thought all he could do was climb were obviously mistaken.
Still, his best moment was probably in Stage 15. In a grueling uphill climb, Froome somehow found the energy to make a strong push up Mont Ventoux, passing Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana late in the race.
Le Tour de France on Twitter provided highlights of the incredible finish by the rider:
This victory extended his lead to over four minutes, which was nearly impossible to make up down the stretch. This win was pretty much sealed when he won the Stage 17 time trial, as noted by Team Sky:
There was some controversy in the 18th stage when he illegally ate a power gel, but his 20-second penalty was not enough to ruin his run.
Heading into the final stage around Paris, Froome was given the chance to simply relax and enjoy his victory. As is tradition in the Tour de France, he enjoyed some champagne during the run, per the Inner Ring:
Froome sips champagne for the cameras pic.twitter.com/YI7KnJUK76— the Inner Ring (@inrng) July 21, 2013
Although the sprinters were the ones who took advantage of the Champs-Elysees in the final stage, Froome's lead was more than enough to hold onto the victory in this event's centennial anniversary.
The competitor showcased the blueprint on how to win the championship, although few have the physical ability to replicate it. He remained close in the sprints and dominated the climbs while building up one of the biggest margins of victory in recent history.
Froome had an incredible effort after crashing in Stage 1, and he is well-deserving of the 2013 Tour de France victory.
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