Chris Froome wins Giro d’Italia in Rome to join cycling’s exclusive club

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Only deep into an 80km breakaway, when he had established a three-minute lead to become virtual race leader, had his thoughts turned to the maglia rosa. It was, depending on your view, either one of the greatest solo rides in history or something less edifying. For some observers the sensation was not unlike being on a rollercoaster: But my conscience is clear. I have every confidence it will stand.

Team Sky , for their part, regarded the stage win on Friday as somewhat akin to the perfect heist. A combination of Froome risking everything, especially on the descents, as well as benefiting from a ramshackle chase and staff being positioned along the route to give him small pots of nutrition. They also expected Froome to come on strong in the final week, given his crash on the opening stage and the fact he had saddle sores for much of the race.

Froome also came into the Giro a little heavier than usual, at 70kg rather than the 67kg he is normally at the Tour de France — although by the time he rode up the Finestre his weight had dropped to Of course Froome still faces the cloud of his adverse analytical finding at the Vuelta — as well as a potential ban — although he denies any wrongdoing and insists he will clear his name.