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Chris Froome joins list of greats with his third Tour de France success

By Ian Parker

Published 25/07/2016

Just champion: Chris Froome lifts after the final stage in Paris
Just champion: Chris Froome lifts after the final stage in Paris
Team Sky's Chris Froome celebrates as he collects the yellow jersey for winning the Tour De France on the podium after stage 21 of the 2016 Tour de France in Paris, France. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 24, 2016. See PA story CYCLING Tour. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further info: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.

Chris Froome crossed the line arm-in-arm with his Team Sky team-mates as he joined the elite club of three-time Tour de France winners while Andre Greipel won the final stage in Paris yesterday.

Froome, already Britain's only multiple Tour winner, is now one of just eight men - not counting the disgraced Lance Armstrong - to have won three or more Tours, and will have his sights set on record five-time winners Jacques Anquetil, Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx.

Froome, who had been able to enjoy a glass of champagne and a sip of beer on the 113km stage from Chantilly, met his wife Michelle and baby boy Kellan just after the finish line.

In his podium speech, Froome thanked his team and family before paying tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack in Nice on Bastille Day, midway through the Tour.

"This tour has taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice and we pay our respects, once again, to those who lost their lives," he said. "These kind of events put sport into perspective but also show why the values of sport are so important to free society.

"We all love the Tour de France because it is unpredictable but we love the Tour more for what stays the same - the passion of the fans, the beauty of the French countryside and the bonds of friendship.

"These things will never change. Vive le Tour et Vive la France."

The 31-year-old had effectively sealed victory by staying upright on Saturday's stage 20 to Morzine ahead of yesterday's largely processional stage.

With a four-minute advantage he was able to sit up and enjoy the moment with his team-mates as others finished ahead, although the final general classification retained the time gaps from Saturday night.

That meant Froome won the Tour by four minutes and five seconds from Frenchman Romain Bardet.

German Greipel, also the winner in Paris 12 months ago, pipped the late-charging World champion Peter Sagan to the line in the traditional sprint on the Champs-Elysees after racing clear of Norway's Alexander Kristoff on the run-in.

Kristoff attacked first but Greipel, with his Lotto-Soudal lead-out train doing its job on the final approach, burst clear to make sure he did not leave this Tour empty-handed.

"I can't describe it," said Greipel. "I'm just super proud of what we've achieved. I've raced for three weeks for that. The team kept believing in me."

While Froome was confirmed as overall winner, Tinkoff's Sagan took his fifth straight victory in the points classification.

The 23-year-old Briton Adam Yates of Orica-BikeExchange took the white jersey as the best young rider - the first Briton to win the category - while Sagan's team-mate Rafal Majka was confirmed in the king of the mountains' polka-dot jersey.

Nairo Quintana was third overall, four minutes and 21 seconds behind Froome, while Yates was fourth, a further 21 seconds back.

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