2013 Tour de France: How Chris Froome won the race

By Peter ScrivenerBBC Sport
The 2013 Tour de France route

Chris Froome won three stages of the Tour de France on his way to becoming the second British rider to triumph in the most prestigious stage race in cycling.

The 28-year-old Team Sky rider took the race leader's yellow jersey by winning stage eight's mountain-top finish at Ax 3 Domaines and kept it all the way to the finish in Paris.

Froome's achievement matched that of his Team Sky team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins, who won last year's race.

The 100th staging of the Tour started on the island of Corsica on Saturday, 29 June and the three-week race took place entirely within the country's borders for the first time since the centenary race in 2003.

The 21 stages comprised two individual time trials, one team time trial, seven flat, five hilly and six mountainous stages, with four summit finishes.

Here BBC Sport looks at how Froome won the Tour de France.

The Orica GreenEdge team bus stuck beneath the finish line on stage one
There was chaos on the opening stage when the Orica GreenEdge team bus became temporarily stuck under the finish line in Bastia

Saturday, 29 June - stage 1: Porto-Vecchio - Bastia, 213km

Winner: Marcel Kittel - report (Marcel Kittel in yellow)

BBC Sport columnist Geraint Thomas predicted carnage in Corsica and the Welshman was proved right on stage one.

A team bus became wedged under the finish line and Thomas fractured his pelvis in a crash but Froome avoided all the chaos to finish in 41st place, safely in the peloton, to get his challenge off to a solid start.

Mark Cavendish was caught up in the Thomas crash and missed the chance to win his first yellow jersey as Kittel won the stage.

Sunday, 30 June - stage 2: Bastia - Ajaccio, 156km

Winner: Jan Bakelants - report (Jan Bakelants in yellow)

Tour debutant Bakelants sprinted clear of a breakaway group in the final kilometre to take the stage win and overall lead.

Froome, who had stretched his legs on the final climb of the day to race clear of the main bunch so he could take the descent at his own pace, again finished alongside his main rivals, one second behind Bakelants, to move up to 18th overall.

Monday, 1 July - stage 3: Ajaccio - Calvi, 145.5km

Winner: Simon Gerrans - report (Jan Bakelants in yellow)

The final day on Corsica and a reasonably comfortable day for Froome, who again kept out of trouble as Gerrans won stage three in a sprint finish.

Froome finished 28th and in the bunch behind Gerrans to be credited with the same time as the Australian and move up to 15th overall.

Tuesday, 2 July - stage 4: Nice, 25km team time trial

Winner: Orica GreenEdge (team time trial) - report (Simon Gerrans in yellow)

A Team Sky win would have put their highest-ranked rider, Edvald Boasson Hagen, in the yellow jersey, but they could only finish three seconds behind the Orica GreenEdge team of Gerrans and it was he who took over the race lead.

Sky's efforts saw them finish third overall on the stage to lift Froome to seventh.

Mark Cavendish wins in Marseille
Cavendish won his first stage of the 2013 Tour, and 24th overall, after a sprint finish into Marseille

Wednesday, 3 July - stage 5: Cagnes-sur-Mer - Marseille, 228.5km

Winner: Mark Cavendish - report (Simon Gerrans in yellow)

Manxman Cavendish defied a bout of bronchitis to claim a convincing win in a sprint finish and pick up his first stage victory of the race.

Froome avoided a crash in the final kilometre to finish in the main bunch and retain his seventh place, three seconds behind Gerrans.

Thursday, 4 July - stage 6: Aix-en-Provence - Montpellier, 176.5km

Winner: Andre Greipel - report (Daryl Impey in yellow)

German Greipel won the battle of the sprinters as South African Impey took over the race lead from team-mate Gerrans by finishing 14th, becoming the first African rider to wear the yellow jersey.

Froome finished five seconds adrift of Impey to fall eight seconds behind in the overall standings, though he remained in seventh.

Peter Sagan
Slovakia's Peter Sagan celebrated winning the green points jersey in his own inimitable style

Friday, 5 July - stage 7: Montpellier - Albi, 205.5km

Winner: Peter Sagan - report (Daryl Impey in yellow)

Sagan's Cannondale team executed their race plan to perfection as they guided the Slovakian to the stage win.

Froome again finished in the peloton as the overall race standings remained unchanged.

Saturday, 6 July - stage 8: Castres - Ax 3 Domaines, 195km

Winner: Chris Froome - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

The first day in the Pyrenees mountains and Froome produced a sensational ride to win the stage and put himself into the race leader's yellow jersey for the first time.

The Briton sprinted away from his rivals, including two-time race winner Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana, on the climb to the summit finish at Ax 3 Domaines.

His Team Sky team-mate Richie Porte finished second, 51 seconds adrift, as Froome opened a commanding lead.

Sunday, 7 July - stage 9: Saint-Girons - Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 168.5km

Winner: Dan Martin - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

A series of attacks by the Garmin-Sharp team of eventual stage winner Martin blew the mountainous race to Bagneres-de-Bigorre wide open.

Froome was isolated as his Team Sky team-mates, including Porte, were unable to match the furious pace and he was left chasing down attack after attack as the likes of Valverde tried to claw back some time.

Valverde's team-mate Quintana then attacked three times on the final climb but Froome reeled him back in each time and again all the main contenders finished together.

Porte finished well down the field so Valverde moved up to second, one minute 25 seconds behind Froome.

However, the nine-man Team Sky squad was reduced to eight as Vasil Kiryienka was forced to abandon the race after finishing outside the time limit.

Tuesday, 9 July - stage 10: Saint-Gildas-des-Bois - Saint-Malo, 197km

Winner: Marcel Kittel - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

Following a rest day, the race moved to Brittany in north-western France and the sprinters again took centre stage.

Kittel recorded his second stage win despite his lead-out man, Tom Veelers, tumbling after colliding with Cavendish on the run-in.

Froome avoided the mayhem to finish in the peloton and stay in yellow.

Chris Froom on stage 11's individuual time trial
Froome further stamped his authority on the race by finishing second on the first individual time trial, which was raced with Mont St Michel in the background

Wednesday, 10 July - stage 11: Avranches - Mont-Saint-Michel, 33km individual time trial

Winner: Tony Martin - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

Froome extended his overall race lead despite finishing second on the stage to Germany's world time trial champion Martin.

The Briton crucially finished more than two minutes ahead of Valverde and Contador to push his lead out to more than three minutes.

Cavendish had urine thrown at him during his ride - the Manxman later tweeted that he would not be having apple juice with his evening meal, while Froome said: "One individual doing that just leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth. And a bad taste in Mark's mouth."

Thursday, 11 July - stage 12: Fougeres - Tours, 218km

Winner: Marcel Kittel - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

Froome was given a stark reminder of the fragility of his position after team-mate Boasson Hagen fractured his right shoulder blade in a crash and was forced to abandon the race.

The incident occurred just a couple of bike lengths behind Froome, who was being shepherded to the finish by his Team Sky team-mates as the sprinters battled it for the stage win.

Kittel out-sprinted Cavendish to take his third stage victory of the race as the overall standings remained unchanged.

Friday, 12 July - stage 13: Tours - Saint-Amand-Montrond, 173km

Winner: Mark Cavendish - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

Froome's lead was eaten into on a fascinating day's racing through central France, which started when the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team of Cavendish split the field open as crosswinds played havoc in the peloton.

Second-placed Valverde was the day's big loser, finishing almost 10 minutes adrift after he suffered a puncture and was unable to catch the leaders despite the help of his Movistar team-mates.

Froome was safely in the initial break but missed a late move by Contador's Saxo-Tinkoff team and lost 69 seconds as Bauke Mollema jumped to second, with Contador third.

Cavendish did make the break, though, and as the only recognised sprinter in the bunch, he won his 25th Tour stage to move to joint third on the all-time list, alongside France's Andre Leducq.

Saturday, 13 July - stage 14: Saint-Pourcain-sur-Sioule - Lyon, 191km

Winner: Matteo Trentin - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

After the exertions of stage 13 and with Mont Ventoux coming up for a Bastille Day treat, a breakaway was always likely to stay away - and stay away it did.

Once it became apparent that the 18 men in the break were of no threat to Froome's race lead, they were allowed to stay clear and Cavendish's team-mate Trentin eventually sprinted clear to win.

Froome finished more than seven minutes back, but alongside his main rivals to maintain his advantage.

Chris Froome winning the race up Mont Ventoux
Froome won the Bastille Day race to the summit of the iconic Mont Ventoux to strengthen his grip on the race leader's yellow jersey

Sunday, 14 July - stage 15: Givors - Mont Ventoux, 242.5km

Winner: Chris Froome - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

Tour organisers celebrated Bastille Day with the longest stage of the 2013 race, finishing with one of its most iconic mountain climbs, and the racing did not disappoint.

Quintana was the first to attack on the 20km ascent to the summit finish and was allowed to race clear. Froome finally made his move with 7km remaining, leaving Contador in his wake before catching and eventually riding away from Quintana.

Froome extended his lead over Mollema and Contador to more than four minutes.

Tuesday, 16 July - stage 16: Vaison-la-Romaine - Gap, 168km

Winner: Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

Portuguese Costa rode clear of a 26-man breakaway to take the stage win, but the real drama was unfolding behind him.

Froome almost came off after chasing Contador down the final descent of the stage. The Spaniard did take a slight tumble but the duo were quickly back on their bikes and pedalling.

They finished more than 11 minutes behind Costa but, with all the overall contenders crossing the line together, Froome maintained his advantage.

Wednesday, 17 July - stage 17: Embrun - Chorges, 32km individual time trial

Winner: Chris Froome - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

London 2012 Olympic time trial bronze medallist Froome was expected to extend his lead in the second individual time trial of the 100th Tour and he did just that to tighten his grip on the yellow jersey.

Froome completed the hilly course nine seconds quicker than second-placed Contador, who moved up to second overall, four minutes 34 seconds back, as Mollema fell further away.

Australia's Adam Hansen climbs Alpe d'Huez
A double ascent of the legendary Alpe d'Huez awaited the riders on stage 18 and Australia's Adam Hansen chose an unusual drink to help him on his way

Thursday, 18 July - stage 18: Gap - Alpe-d'Huez, 172.5km

Winner: Christophe Riblon - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

Froome was penalised 20 seconds for taking food in the final 5km of the stage but still extended his lead over Contador by 37 seconds on another intriguing day in the mountains.

Riblon became the first French stage winner of the 2013 race but again the drama was unfolding behind him.

Froome looked comfortable when he attacked and dropped Contador on the second ascent of the iconic Alpe d'Huez but his energy levels dwindled as he reached the final 5km and Porte went to the team car to pick up an energy bar.

Although Porte broke the rules, Froome was also penalised. Quintana attacked as Froome refuelled and moved up to third overall, five minutes 32 seconds adrift.

Friday, 19 July - stage 19: Bourg-d'Oisans - Le Grand-Bornand, 204.5km

Winner: Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

On paper, the mountainous stage 19 was one of the hardest of the Tour, but Froome was barely challenged by his rivals as he maintained his lead of more than five minutes over second-placed Contador.

"I definitely had a sigh of relief after getting today out of the way - this was one of the stages I was most worried about," Froome said afterwards.

Costa claimed his second stage win of the race in similar fashion to his first, with a late solo break.

Saturday, 20 July - stage 20: Annecy - Annecy-Semnoz, 125km

Winner: Nairo Quintana - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

Froome had to fend off an over-enthusiastic supporter on the climb to the summit finish on the penultimate stage as he all-but wrapped up his first Tour de France victory.

Colombian Quintana took his first Tour stage win to move into second with Contador losing more than two minutes to drop out of the top three.

Froome later admitted his concentration on the ascent of Mont Semnoz had wavered. "It was quite hard to stay on top once I got to three kilometres to go because I knew I had accomplished what I wanted to do. I was overwhelmed," he said.

Sunday, 21 July - stage 21: Versailles - Paris, 118km

Winner: Marcel Kittel - report (Chris Froome in yellow)

The final stage, held in the Parisian twilight, was always going to be a sprint finish.

Manxman Cavendish was going for a 26th Tour stage win and a fifth on the trot on the Champs Elysees. Victory would have put him third on the all-time list behind five-time Tour winners Eddy Merckx (34) and Bernard Hinault (28). But he was edged out by German duo Kittel and Greipel.

Froome finished safely in the peloton to confirm his position as overall race winner.

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