Well, Chris Froome did it again. He is now a four-time winner of the Tour de France.
Exactly how he went about winning this year was the main talking point, though. Notably, Froome did not win a single stage, nor did he look as imperiously dominant at climbing as he was before. Many times it looked like he was at his most fragile, cracking at the Stage 12 Port de Bales climb. His margin of victory was a relatively scant 54 seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran of Cannondale-Drapac. Finally, there were times when it seemed like his Team Sky teammate, Spaniard Mikel Landa, was keen on taking the yellow jersey himself. Landa eventually finished fourth in the general classification, 2:21 in arrears and one second behind Romain Bardet.
The result may have seemed inevitable, but the actual victory was anything but. After all the dust has settled, Froome won the race in the two individual time trials of Stages 1 and 20.
Some will say that Froome is not a “deserving” winner as he did not win a single stage. Others detest his lack of flair and robot-like efficiency, his gaze permanently fixed on his stem as he rides and climbs to a set power output. The man sure has his share of haters, like when he was splashed with a cup full of urine by French fans while competing in the 2015 Tour de France.
At the end of the day, though, he played by the rules of the general classification and won where it mattered: against the cumulative clock. Congratulations, Mr. Froome.