LONDON: Six-time Olympic champion Chris Hoy hailed Chris Froome’s Tour de France triumph as a monumental achievement after the Team Sky rider on Sunday made it back-to-back British victories in the event.
Froome came safely through the final stage to win the 100th Tour by a margin of four minutes and 20 seconds from Colombia’s Nairo Quintana and finished the race in tears as the significance of his achievement began to take hold.
The 28-year-old’s success means Britain have now produced two successive Tour de France winners after Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins became the first to win the prestigious event last year.
It is a remarkable era for British cycling, with Wiggins also winning a gold medal at last year’s London Olympics, but Hoy insisted it is important not to underestimate the magnitude of Kenya-born Froome’s victory.
“It is a huge achievement and I almost feel sorry for Froome because people are almost getting blasé about it,” said Hoy.
“People think it is another British winner so that is what we should expect – but if you take a step back and get some perspective, you can see what a monumental achievement it is for him to have done this.
“For Britain to have two riders winning the Tour de France back-to-back is fantastic.
“Just a few years ago we did not have anyone who could reach the podium. But now we have two cyclists who have won the Tour in consecutive years, it is a phenomenal achievement.”
Wiggins pulled out of this year’s Tour through injury, meaning that Froome immediately became the hot favourite to bring home the honours. He delivered in spectacular fashion, but recently retired Scottish rider Hoy admitted he would have enjoyed watching the pair battle it out for the title. “I think it would have been fantastic.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2013.