British fans welcome Froome second Tour title

British Fans welcome Chris Froome’s second Tour de France title in three years, Colombian supporters satisfied with Quintana winning the white jersey.

PARIS, FRANCE (JULY 26, 2015) (REUTERS) – Briton Chris Froome won his second Tour de France title in three years on Sunday (July 26) to enhance his growing reputation as a grand tour specialist.

It was Team Sky’s third Tour triumph in four years after Bradley Wiggins prevailed in 2012 before Froome succeeded him in 2013.

The 30-year-old Froome, a late bloomer who surged into the limelight when he took second place in the 2011 Tour of Spain, beat Colombian Nairo Quintana by one minute 12 seconds and his Movistar team mate Alejandro Valverde of Spain by 5:25.

On the Champs-Elysees, British and Colombian fans had come to support their winners despite a heavy rain and freezing cold temperatures.

Simon Bayliff from the United Kingdom said it was unfortunate that Froome had been booed all tour long, but it did not spoil the race.

“I think it’s great, it’s great for Great Britain it’s great for Chris Froome. I think it’s unfortunate that a minority can spoil a sport sometimes, but that’s like any sport, that’s a minority that spoils it for everyone . But it was a small thing that has moved on but it is just a great day, great for British sport,” Simon Bayliff said.

Dakota Mamola, a moto rider and friend of British cyclist Mark Cavendish who had made the trip to paris to see his friend said he was impressed by the number of people who had come despite the bad weather.

“Definitely, look at the weather, it’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s freezing and there are still thousands of people here which is so beautiful to see. And like I said, It’s my first time and I couldn’t believe how many people are here watching such a nice sport. And I am really thankful to be here for the first time so thank you,” Dakota Mamola said.

Colombian fan Gus Silva said he was not disappointed that Nairo Quintana had arrived second and he considered the Colombian’s performance promising.

“It was a tough tour and he could have done better maybe. He could have attacked a couple of days before. But second place again, he is only 25 years old. I think that for his second tout he has done really well,” Gus Silva said.

Colombia’s Mariana Pajon who competed in the women’s BMX final run during the London 2012 Olympic Games said she was very happy to be in Paris, and had come form Belgium where she was doing a competition, to support her Colombian compatriots.

“Yes, I am so happy to be here in Paris. Cycling is my passion and I am so happy to be here supporting all the Colombians, all the cyclists, and Nairo did really good, so we are happy to be here, it’s awesome,” Marian Pajon said.

Billed as a four-way battle between Froome, Quintana, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali, the Tour quickly turned into a duel after the double Tour winner from Spain and the Italian defending champion cracked in the Pyrenees.

Froome, the first Briton to win the Tour twice, made his mark in the mountain stage to La Pierre St Martin in the 10th stage before riding defensively to hold off Quintana, who came close to make him crack in Saturday’s stage to l’Alpe d’Huez.

Froome, who crashed out of the race last year, also relegated Quintana to second place in 2013 and their rivalry could develop into a classic one.

Because rain had made the tiny cobblestones of the Champs Elysees slippery, the clock was stopped 41 km into the 109.5-km stage on Sunday but Froome still had to complete it to be officially crowned champion.