Finally, 109 years after the Gazzetta
Dello Sport decided to hold a bike race across Italy to boost sales, Britain has its first Giro d’Italia winner. And while this was Chris Froome’s sixth grand tour title, following four victories at the Tour de France and another at Terrell Brandon Authentic Jersey the Vuelta a España, this was surely the sweetest.
Not everyone felt Froome should be racing given his ongoing legal battle to clear his name after twice the permitted levels of salbutamol were found in his system at the Vuelta. He also crashed before the first stage and struggled for much of the opening fortnight. And even as late as Friday morning he was in fourth place, 3min 22sec behind. Yet somehow he found a way. Again.
In claiming the maglia rosa, Froome also became the first cyclist in 35 years to hold all three grand tour titles – the Tour de France, Vuelta and Giro – at the same time, joining Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx, the Badger and the Cannibal, in a super-exclusive club.“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” Froome said. “I am sure it will over the next few days when I have time to reflect. It is a dream to have all three leaders’ jerseys in the space of 10 months. I am still pinching myself. I can’t believe I am here.”
After a wild and thrillingly unpredictable three weeks of racing, the race on Sunday was more of a procession, the grunt and the grind having been applied in the Italian Alps. Having stretched his lead over his nearest rival, Tom Dumoulin, to 46sec on Saturday, Froome’s task was simple: to navigate Rome’s roads without incurring a serious injury. That was not quite as straightforward as he would have hoped given the cobbles and treacherous potholes along the 11.5km circuit. But after a pow-wow with Froome, Dumoulin and the race organisers http://www.officialnhlhockeyonline.com/PHILADELPHIA_FLYERS-c-1087_1116.html it was agreed the stage was neutralised after three laps.
That meant that all general classification positions would remain http://www.officialvancouvercanucks.com/Adidas-Loui-Eriksson-Jersey the same, regardless Ken Crawley Authentic Jersey of what happened thereafter, providing a rider finished the stage. Froome, understandably, was content to coast home as the Irishman Sam Bennett took the win in a thrilling bunch sprint ahead of Elia Viviani. Eventually Froome trundled over the line, 17 minutes back, having joyously wended his way past the monuments of ancient Rome. As he crossed the line he joined hands with his six team-mates, before being led to the podium to be dressed in pink.
“It was great to be able to soak up the atmosphere in Rome and all the monuments and crowds,” he said. “I have always been a little bit afraid of coming here and really targeting it because of the demands of the Giro. It is just so different to any other race. So to be in this position, and to have won, I can’t quite believe it.”
Even Froome did not think he had a chance going into the 19th stage on Friday. Only deep into an 80km breakaway, when he had established a three-minute lead to become virtual race leader, had his thoughts turned to the maglia rosa. “I felt it was game on,” he said. “It spurred me on.”It was, depending on your view, either one of the greatest solo rides in history or something less edifying. For some observers the sensation was not unlike being on a rollercoaster: thrilling and queasy at the same time.Froome, though, remains emphatic that he has done nothing wrong and when comparisons with Floyd Landis’s breakaway to Morzine in the 2006 Tour de France were brought up, he responded. “I can understand the parallels of comparisons DeAndre Jordan Authentic Jersey being drawn by some people. But my conscience is clear. I have every confidence it will stand.” cheap nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys china