- Title: Ice-cool Froome on brink of fourth Tour triumph
- Date: 22nd July 2017
- Summary: MARSEILLE, FRANCE (JULY 22, 2017) (REUTERS) **** WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY **** TEAM SKY BRITISH CYCLIST CHRIS FROOME ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) TEAM SKY BRITISH CYCLIST CHRIS FROOME SAYING: "I mean it (victory) was definitely never secured until I was over this line here in Marseille. I mean this morning I didn't know what was going to happen. I mean of course I wanted to come out here and win it today but I was just grateful when I got on to the road and the legs felt good, I felt as if I could push today and I wasn't on a bad day at least, which was the main thing for me." FROOME SPEAKING TO JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) TEAM SKY BRITISH CYCLIST CHRIS FROOME SAYING: "I'd probably have to pick today (as his favourite moment of the race), coming into the stadium, just with (Team AG2R Frenchman) Romain Bardet just ahead of me and then knowing that if I navigated the last two corners correctly, that would be it for this year's Tour de France battle. I mean there have been ups and downs over the last three weeks but I think it has been very much a Grand Tour in the sense that it has been really about the three weeks and during those three weeks, in the most conservative but efficient manner, it wasn't about one single stage, that's what Grand Tour racing is." FROOME LISTENING TO QUESTION FROM JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (English) TEAM SKY BRITISH CYCLIST CHRIS FROOME SAYING: "I've certainly got a new-found appreciation for just how difficult it is for those guys (Miguel Indurain, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil) to have won five Tour de France, it certainly isn't getting any easier each year and I think this year's has certainly been the closest race of my Tour de France career." FROOME LEAVING JOURNALISTS TEAM AG2R FRENCH CYCLIST ROMAIN BARDET ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (French) TEAM AG2R FRENCH CYCLIST ROMAIN BARDET SAYING: "It's a bit difficult right now (to give an impression), I'm lacking a bit of perspective in order to analyse things calmly. It's hard to look back because there was a lot of emotion during the three weeks. It was very hard today as you saw, I was feeling under the weather and I fought maybe more with my head than my legs but I'm waiting for tomorrow because we... the coin fell on the right side today but we'll see tomorrow. I hope to save the third place which would make two podiums in two years, of which my team can really be proud." VARIOUS OF JOURNALISTS TEAM BORA-HANSGROHE POLISH CYCLIST AND WINNER OF STAGE 20 MACIEJ BODNAR ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) TEAM BORA-HANSGROHE POLISH CYCLIST AND WINNER OF STAGE 20 MACIEJ BODNAR SAYING: "It was not easy, it was stressful because even I know there are strong riders like (Team Katusha-Alpecin German) Tony Martin and of course (Team Sky Pole) Michal Kwiatkowski, my really good friend. And when I beat him, the one second, I don't know if it was a question of luck maybe today but then I was waiting for Chris Froome of course." TOUR DE FRANCE LOGO
- Embargoed: 5th August 2017 18:55
- Keywords: Stage 20 cycling time trial Stade Velodrome Maciej Bodnar Romain Bardet Marseille Chris Froome Tour de France yellow jersey
- Location: MARSEILLE, FRANCE
- City: MARSEILLE, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Cycling,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0016QSTFLR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART VIDEO QUALITY AS INCOMING
Chris Froome kept his composure in a hostile environment as he virtually secured a fourth Tour de France title after extending his overall lead with a good showing in Saturday's (July 22) 22.5-km time trial through the streets of Marseille.
The Briton was booed by the crowd in the Stade Velodrome -- where the penultimate stage started and ended -- and also in the Old Port and on the climb up to Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde, as he took third place behind two Poles, with Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) winning in 28:15 ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski. Despite the boos, Froome was gracious.
While Froome won at least a stage in 2013, 2015 and 2016, he has been unable to raise his arms in celebrations this year as he has not won a single race in 2017.
Frenchman Romain Bardet had a mediocre time trial and the AG2R-La Mondiale rider, runner-up last year, salvaged a podium finish by one second to finish third, 2:20 off the pace, with Froome's Spanish team mate Mikel Landa taking fourth place.
Providing Froome avoids any calamities on the 103-km trek from Montgeron to the capital he will take his Tour haul to four in the last five years -- just one behind cycling greats Miguel Indurain of Spain, Belgium's Eddy Merckx and Frenchmen Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil.
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