PARIS (AFP) – Kenyan-born Briton Chris Froome was crowned the yellow jersey champion after winning the 100th Tour de France following an impressive campaign by his Sky team on Sunday.
Froome built his maiden victory on the world's greatest cycling race on the stages listed below.
Stage 8 - Castres to Ax-Trois-Domaines (195 km)
After the stress of a first week of racing, Froome took command of the race in authoritative fashion by winning the first mountaintop finish. His attack several kilometres from the summit of Ax-Trois-Domaines in the Pyrenees left his rivals with no doubts as to his form and his intentions. Froome took the yellow jersey and Australian teammate Richie Porte finished second.
Stage 9 - Saint-Girons to Bagneres-De-Bigorre (168.5 km)
In response to the stunning blow delivered by Sky a day earlier, several rival teams took it in turn to attack Sky in persistent fashion. Several key teammates, including Porte, were dropped on the way to a downhill finish where Ireland's Dan Martin of Garmin prevailed. Froome was left isolated and exposed to attacks, but underlined his individual form by fighting his way out of a corner.
Stage 11: Avranches to Mont Saint Michel individual time-trial (33 km)
The time trial victory of Germany's two-time and defending world champion Tony Martin was no surprise. But Froome delivered another blow to the hopes of his rivals by finishing second at only 12secs adrift. The performance allowed Froome to extend his overall lead to 3:25.
Stage 13: Tours to Saint-Amand-Montrond (173 km)
On what appeared to be an innocuous-looking stage, which finished with a second stage victory for British sprinter Mark Cavendish, Froome suffered his first significant setback when main rival Alberto Contador and his Saxo team, riding hard in violent crosswinds, rode hard to create an echelon. Froome was left without support, isolated and lost more than a minute to the Spaniard.
Stage 15: Givors to Mont Ventoux (242.5 km)
On the race's second mountaintop finish Froome delivered another crushing blow to the hopes of his rivals when he triumphed atop the legendary Mont Ventoux, the 'Giant of Provence', after a number of cadence-high but incisive attacks on his way to the summit. His performance elicited dark comparisons with disgraced former champion Lance Armstrong, but ultimately stretched his overall lead to 4:14.
Stage 17: Embrun to Chorges individual time-trial (32 km)
Froome had predicted the time gaps on this hilly race against the clock would be close, but in the end he triumphed -- thanks in part to changing his road bike for a time trial bike at the top of the final ascent -- with a 9sec cushion over a very disappointed Contador. Froome stretched his lead to 4:34, with Contador moving up to second place.
Stage 18: Gap to Alpe d'Huez (168.5 km)
As Christophe Riblon of AG2R capped a superb counter-attack on Tejay Van Garderen on the way to a first French victory of the 100th edition on the legendary Alpe, Froome began suffering from hypoglycemia. Only an illegal move by teammate Porte, who went back to the team car for sugar-rich power gels, prevented Froome from suffering a spectacular collapse due to the lack of glucose in his blood. As Nairo Quintana and Joaquim Rodriguez went on to claim some valuable time, Froome and Porte were hit with 20sec penalties.
July 20: Stage 20: Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz (125 km)
Contador failed to live up to expectations of attacking Froome on what was the final day in the mountains and Froome was imperious despite being unable to follow Quintana when the Colombian launched a solo attack, which secured his maiden stage win, inside the final two kilometres. Contador dropped from second to fourth overall as Froome virtually sealed his win with a 5:03 lead on Movistar's race debutant Quintana going into the final day.