Historic Vuelta triumph cements Froome's legacy

FRENCH PRESS AGENCY - AFP
MADRID
Published 10.09.2017 21:56
Updated 10.09.2017 21:58

Chris Froome believes he has secured his status as one of cycling's all-time greats as he stands on the brink of a historic Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double. Froome extended his lead over Vincenzo Nibali to 2min 15sec in Saturday's penultimate stage of the Vuelta with only a traditional parade through Madrid to come on Sunday. The Briton will become only the third rider to ever win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year and the first since the Vuelta was moved to after the Tour in the cycling calendar back in 1995.

"I could only have dreamed to be in this position, to be making history," said Froome.

"To be the first British rider to win the Vuelta. The first rider to win the Tour and go onto win the Vuelta. This is sealing my place in the history of the sport."

Froome's Tour de France success last month was the fourth of his storied career. However, he had always fallen just short previously at the Vuelta as a runner-up in 2011, 2014 and 2016.

Having come so close to standing atop the podium in Madrid with the leader's red jersey in recent years, Froome altered his entire preparation for the season to target a historic double.

His Tour win was a less spectacular one as he failed to win a stage in seeing off Rigoberto Uran by just 54 seconds for the yellow jersey. However, backed by incredible support from his Sky teammates, Froome has looked in supreme form in recent weeks, taking both stage nine and individual time trial victory on stage 16.

"The Vuelta is a race I genuinely enjoy doing and I came close last year," he added.

"This year I structured my season very differently. I did very few races in the first part of the season and arrived at the Tour a little on the fresh side, not necessarily enough racing in my legs, but that has helped me to be really strong throughout the three weeks here at the Vuelta."

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