LONDON, Greater London: The British press hailed a new cycling hero on Monday after Chris Froome became the second Briton in two years to win the Tour de France.
The 28-year-old’s grinning face and yellow jersey graced the front pages of all the major newspapers after he followed Bradley Wiggins in claiming the prestigious title.
“British victories in the Tour suddenly resemble buses—you wait 99 Tours for the first one and then two come along at once,” wrote a commentator in the Daily Telegraph.
“But the significance of Froome’s win will reach much further around the globe than that of Sir Bradley Wiggins 12 months ago.”
Using the name accorded to the Kenyan-born cyclist by the French media, The Telegraph added: “The Sun King, shining bright for Sky, may reign for years.”
The Daily Mail said: “Chris Froome is an unlikely history-maker, but on the Champs-Elysee last night, as dusk began to fall over the City of Light, that is what he became.”
It noted his mild manner belied a fiery ambition that secured him a dominant victory in the 100th Tour.
“Off the bike he is mild-mannered and polite; on it, he is a killer, seemingly compelled not merely to win, but to crush his rivals, attacking them to steal more time and inflict more pain, even when his legs cannot sustain the effort,” it said.
Several papers focused on Froome’s heartfelt victory tribute to his mother, Jane, his biggest fan who died in 2008.
The Times published a special edition cover with a photograph of Froome riding around the Arc de Triomphe, next to his words: “I’d have given anything just to see her smile with me coming into Paris.”
Froome also used the podium to vow that his win would stand the test of time, a reference to the continued questions he has faced about doping.
His triumph came with the biggest winning margin since Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his record seven crowns earlier this year for being a drugs cheat.
“Not content with just winning the Tour de France, Chris Froome closed out the race in Paris last night with the dignified pledge that he was a clean champion who the public could believe in,” wrote the Times.