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Froome success should be measured against peers not public adoration — Michael Pavitt

11 Setiembre 2017

Britain's Chris Froome has effectively become the first Briton to win cycling's Vuelta a Espana.

My colleague Alan Hubbard wondered following Froome's Tour de France success whether his perceived lack of charisma and quotability had lessened his appeal to the British public. "I'm still coming to terms with everything".

Millar acknowledged that Froome's upbringing in South Africa and him residing in Monaco could be a key reason for the perceived coldness.

"It's just incredible", Froome said.

His lead moved out to more than one minute after stage 11 but two crashes late on stage 12 cost him 20 seconds, leaving him "grateful" not to be injured.

However, there is not much time for Froome to rest up, and he added: "Next weekend I have got the world championships in Norway".

The three-time Vuelta winner signed off in style with victory on the steep mountain climb to Alto de l'Angliru on Saturday and was given the honour of leading the peloton around the first lap of the Madrid circuit.

Greater recognition would be nice I am sure. "In '78, people talked a lot about the double but for me it was normal and nothing exceptional because others had done it before".

Since his real emergence as a Grand Tour contender six years ago, few riders have been involved in as many memorable moments at the major cycling races of the year.

He struck his first real blow with a sharp, late attack to outstrip Esteban Chaves and win stage nine, his first grand tour stage victory of the season, and took a giant step towards the overall win with a dominant display in the individual time trial in stage 16, beating Wilco Kelderman by 29 seconds.

Yesterday's final stage was won by Italian Matteo Trentin with Froome easing home in 11th surrounded by his Team Sky teammates. It's a relief now to finish and to be getting to Madrid'.

"I passed all the cars and the road was only for me".

Chalking up success after success to move into consideration to be among the greats of cycling seems far more of a pressing priority.

"I've been fighting for this victory for six years".

The Vuelta organisers devised a relentless schedule this year and Froome said he was not able to consider himself assured of victory until he had survived Saturday's epic stage. "I think I gave the maximum in every race in all these 15 years, I trained very hard and I did it with my heart", he said.

Froome success should be measured against peers not public adoration — Michael Pavitt