Froome seals second Tour de France title

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Froome cycles past the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Chris Froome on Sunday won the Tour de France for a second time after a ceremonial final stage in Paris.

Froome’s defence of the 2013 title ended with a broken hand and fractured wrist 12 months ago, but the Team Sky leader responded to win the 102nd Tour by one minute 12 seconds from Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

Andre Greipel won the 21st and final stage on the Champs-Elysees – his fourth stage success of the race – as Mark Cavendish was squeezed out of contention. A crash in the final kilometre fractured the peloton and Froome’s Team Sky squad rolled over the line together to celebrate a third Tour title for the British squad in four years.

Froome secured the yellow jersey despite Quintana’s late attack to Alpe-d’Huez on Saturday, which left the 30-year-old Kenya-born Briton clinging on.

The 109.5-kilometres concluding stage from Sevres to the Champs-Elysees is traditionally a procession and saw Froome sip champagne and pose for photographs with his team-mates.

The only trouble Froome encountered on a memorable day was when a paper bag became caught on his bike, requiring a change, on the penultimate lap of the Champs-Elysees.

He finished well behind Greipel, whose dominance of the sprints continued, but it mattered not as Froome celebrated overall victory.

– GALLERY: The Tour de France’s multiple winners
– TDF: Paris police fire at car ahead of final stage
– TDF: Second title a mere formality for Froome

La Course by Le Tour, the women’s race which preceded the final Tour stage, took place in torrential rain and the slippery roads resulted in numerous crashes. The Tour finale began in the same conditions, but the rain had relented by the time the peloton reached the Champs-Elysees.

The general classification times were set after the first passing of the finish line on Paris’ most famous boulevard, with almost 70km of racing remaining. Froome, who became the second British winner of the King of the Mountains title in the competition’s 40-year history, still had to complete the stage to win, but he could avoid the sprinters’ teams battling for position.

Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis) and stage one winner Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) attacked entering the last of 10 laps, but the sprinters’ teams soon swallowed them up. Without key leadout men Tony Martin and Mark Renshaw, who did not reach Paris, Cavendish had to bide his time and fight for position on his own.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) was the first to launch his sprint, but Greipel powered by and held off Bryan Coquard (Europcar) to triumph. The German also won stage two to Zeeland, stage five to Amiens and stage 15 to Valence, but his first win on the Champs-Elysees was likely a career high.

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GALLERY: The Tour de France’s multiple yellow jersey winners

Scott 26/07/2015
Former winners of Le Tour de France

Given Chris Froome's impending victory of the Tour de France , we take a look at the group of elite cyclists he will join in becoming a multiple winner of the competition. 

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Paris police fire on car driven through Tour de France barrier

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The scene at the barriers where the incident occurred.

French police opened fire Sunday at a car which smashed through a security barrier in central Paris close to the finishing line of cycling’s Tour de France, a police source said.

The authorities were still searching for the driver after the incident which happened at around 11am local time (1pm GST) at the Place de Concorde at the end of the famous Champs Elysees, where the world’s greatest cycling race is to finish later Sunday.

Officials said police shot at the car in an attempt to stop it after it sped away from a nearby checkpoint as officers tried to redirect traffic away from roads closed for the end of the epic race.

No one is believed to have been hit, and police stressed there had been no exchange of fire. Initial reports also suggest that it was not a pre-planned attack.

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A police official told Reuters: “This is a minor incident. It wasn’t aimed at the Tour de France, it’s not terrorism, it’s just a simple refusal to comply, as there are many every day.”

Security in the French capital has been heightened for months following jihadist attacks which claimed 17 lives that began with the massacre at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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