Chris Froome wins second Tour de France - despite the abuse
Urine, spit and persistent claims of cheating.
These are some of the things that Chris Froome had to endure on his way to winning his second Tour De France tittle on Sunday (July 27).
The 30-year-old crossed the traditional finishing line at Paris's Champs Elysees arm-in-arm with his fellow team-mates from Team Sky.
Team Sky crossing arm-in-arm. Chris Froome is in the middle wearing the yellow jersey. PHOTO: REUTERS
It was the Kenyan-born Briton's second victory Tour de France victory following his first win in 2013.
To achieve his victory, Froome not only had to battle his fellow competitors and the tour's brutal 3,3360km route, but he also had to fend off abuse from spectators.
In an interview with Sky News, Froome claims that he was doused in urine by a spectator at the 50km mark of stage 14 two Saturdays ago (July 18).
On many parts of the tour, spectators are allowed to stand on the race course.
It did not end with that though. A spectator was caught on camera spitting at Froome last Friday (July 24) during stage 19 of the tour.
Froome's teammates were also subjected to abuse.
Australian Riche Porte claimed that he was punched in the face during stage 10 of the tour.
Froome linked the hostilities directed towards him and his team mates to commentators on French TV, who have constantly accused him of doping and cheating.
AFP reported that organisers blamed the incident on the media, urging them to be more responsible, while Team Sky published Froome’s power data on the climb in order to put the doping suspicions to bed.
Leading the pack of critics are TV commentators, Laurent Jalabert and Cedric Vasseur, both of whom were former riders who have been tainted by doping allegations in the past.
In a testament to Froome's focus, he managed to keep his cool to power through to win the Tour de France 1 minute 12 seconds ahead of second-place Nairo Quintana.
“Obviously, the last three weeks have really taken a toll on him and truth be known I don’t think he’s been that healthy either,” team mate Porte said.
“It’s a testament to how hard he is mentally.”
Source: AFP, The Guardian, Sky News, All Sports