PARIS – Briton Chris Froome secured his fourth Tour de France title at the end of the 21st and final stage won by Dylan Groenewegen in Paris on Sunday.
Sky’s Froome had previously won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 editions and sits fifth overall in the all-time list of Tour victors behind greats Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
At the end of three weeks, 21 stages and more than 3 500km, Froome rolled over the line on the Champs Elysees with a broad grin alongside his Sky teammates, who wore a special kit for the occasion with their usual blue stripe replaced by a yellow one.
It was Froome’s closest Tour struggle yet as his final winning margin was less than a minute for the first time, Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran finishing second at 54sec, with Romain Bardet of France, the runner-up last year, third at 2min 20sec.
The 103km final stage began with a nod to history in Montgeron – where the very first stage of the inaugural Tour in 1903 also began – at a leisurely pace giving Froome, his teammates and the winners of the other distinctive jerseys the chance to celebrate with glasses of champagne as they rode out of the town and towards the French capital.
By the time they got there, the tempo had risen to the opposite scale of the spectrum.
And it was a full pelt bunch that rode to the finish, where 24-year-old Groenewegen struck out for home from a long way out and held off the hard-charging Andre Greipel, winner on the Champs Elysees in the previous two years, with Edvald Boasson Hagen third.
Dutchman Groenewegen of the Lotto NL Jumbo team secured the biggest victory of his young career, but the day undoubtedly belonged to Froome.
Alongside the yellow jersey winner, Australia’s Michael Matthews won the sprinters’ green points jersey, France’s Warren Barguil triumphed in the polkadot king of the mountains competition and Simon Yates of Britain succeeded twin brother Adam as the best young rider in the white jersey.
Froome’s Sky finished as the best team having claimed the yellow helmets on the first stage in Dusseldorf three weeks ago, and never relinquished their lead in the competition, which they won for the first time despite claiming the yellow jersey in five of the last six years.
The last remaining prize went to Barguil, a winner of two stages, who was named the most combative rider of the Tour.