Tour de France 2015: Chris Froome's route to victory

Tour de France
The 102nd edition of the Tour de France started in the Netherlands for a record sixth time

Chris Froome became the first British rider to win the Tour de France twice with victory in the three-week race.

A record-equalling 10 Britons were among the 198 starters in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Saturday, 4 July.

Time trials, crosswinds, cobbles and six-summit finishes, including one atop l'Alpe d'Huez in the penultimate stage, featured in the 102nd edition which climaxed in Paris on 26 July.

Here's how Team Sky's Froome won the 2015 Tour de France...

Saturday, 4 July - stage 1: Individual time trial: Utrecht - Utrecht, 13.8km (8.57 miles)

Rohan Dennis
Rohan Dennis recorded the quickest average speed ever in a Tour de France stage

Winner: Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC)

Report: Dennis in yellow with record speed

The people of Utrecht in the Netherlands poured out in their thousands to watch Australian Rohan Dennis record the quickest average speed ever in a Tour de France stage. The BMC rider was five seconds clear of German Tony Martin in the 13.8km time trial, finishing in a record average speed of 55.446 km/h. Meanwhile, Britain's Chris Froome and the other yellow jersey contenders are within 20 seconds of each other.

Sunday, 5 July - stage 2: Utrecht - Zeeland, 166km (103.14 miles)

Andre Greipel wins
Andre Greipel just about beats Peter Sagan in a tight four-way finish in Zeeland

Winner: Andre Greipel (Ger/Lotto-Soudal)

Report: Froome gains time on rivals

Amid the coastal winds and sporadic rain on the way to Zeeland, there were plenty of talking points. The conditions created a split in the peloton that saw Chris Froome put as much as one minute and 28 seconds between himself and some of his major yellow jersey rivals. Mark Cavendish failed to win a 26th stage, coming up short against Andre Greipel when moving early in the sprint finish. And Fabian Cancellara also beat Cavendish, coming third to claim the yellow jersey.

Monday, 6 July - stage 3: Antwerp - Huy, 159.5km (99.1 miles)

Joaquim Rodriguez leads Chris Froome to the finish of stage three of the tour de France in Huy
Chris Froome briefly led the final climb before finishing second to Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez

Winner: Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha)

Report: Froome surges into yellow jersey

Another day of drama as two crashes, one involving race leader Fabian Cancellara, forced the race to be neutralised and stopped. When racing resumed, Joaquim Rodriguez proved strongest up the punishing Mur de Huy but the bigger story was Chris Froome gaining more time on his rivals in the race for the overall Tour victory.

Tuesday, 7 July - stage 4: Seraing - Cambrai, 223.5km (138.8 miles)

Tony Martin
Martin time trialled his way to a solo victory from 3.5km out

Winner: Tony Martin

Report: Martin wins to take yellow off Froome

A stage that promised so much, delivered on excitement, if not on big time gaps between the riders chasing the overall race victory. Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana all finished together, three seconds behind stage winner Tony Martin. For Martin, it was a deserved solo win and the reward of the yellow jersey after narrowly missing out on the opening three days.

Wednesday, 8 July - stage 5: Arras - Amiens, 189.5km (117.7 miles)

Andre Greipel
Greipel's victory was his eighth career Tour de France stage win

Winner: Andre Greipel

Report: Greipel strikes for a second time

Andre Greipel - tipped by Geraint Thomas before the Tour to win this one - held off his rivals in a sprint finish as Mark Cavendish finished third. Chris Froome and all of his rivals finished together in the pack.

Thursday, 9 July - stage 6: Abbeville - Le Havre, 191.5km (118.9 miles)

Tony Martin
Martin's tears of joy from Tuesday were tears of pain on Thursday

Winner: Zdenek Stybar

Report: Tour leader Martin in dramatic crash

Race leader Tony Martin smashes his collarbone in a crash inside the final kilometre and is ruled out of the rest of the race. In the confusion that follows, Martin's Etixx - Quick-Step team-mate Zdenek Stybar rides off for the victory. Martin's withdrawal from the race leaves Britain's Chris Froome as leader.

Friday, 10 July - stage 7: Livarot - Fougeres, 190.5km (118.3 miles)

Mark Cavendish (centre) wins in Fougeres
Cavendish had been level on 25 Tour stage wins with Frenchman Andre Leducq for two years

Winner: Mark Cavendish

Report: Cavendish ends drought to claim 26th Tour win

Mark Cavendish times his sprint to perfection as he comes past Andre Greipel in the final 50m to record his 26th career stage victory at the Tour and take third on his own on the all-time list. The Manx Missile has just legendary five-time Tour winners Bernard Hinault (28) and Eddy Merckx (34) ahead of him.

Saturday, 11 July - stage 8: Rennes - Mur de Bretagne, 181.5 km (112.7 miles)

Alexis Vuillermoz
Vuillermoz earns France their first stage victory of the 2015 Tour

Winner: Alexis Vuillermoz

Report: Froome retains yellow as Nibali loses time

The 2km slog up the Mur de Bretagne sees defending champion Vincenzo Nibali lose a further 10 seconds on his general classification rivals Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana, who all finish together. France's Alexis Vuillermoz races clear to take the stage by five seconds from Ireland's Dan Martin.

Sunday, 12 July - stage 9: Team time trial: Vannes - Plumelec, 28km (17.4 miles)

Team Sky cross the finish line on stage nine in Plumelec
Team Sky's Nicolas Roche (centre) struggled in the closing stages of the team time trial

Winner: BMC Racing

Report: Team Sky edged out but Froome keeps yellow

American team BMC Racing live up to their world champions billing by winning the team time trial but Team Sky pushed them close. In fact, had they not had to wait for Nicolas Roche on the climb to the finish, they would have won the stage.

Monday, 13 July - rest day

Tuesday, 14 July - stage 10: Tarbes - La Pierre-Saint-Martin, 167km (103.8 miles)

Chris Froome
The only people who could get close to Froome on the climb were the fans

Winner: Chris Froome

Report: Froome destroys field to extend lead

In a fortnight's time, will we look back at this as the day Froome won the Tour? He broke away with 6.4km left of the first summit finish of this year's race to win emphatically and increase his overall lead to nearly three minutes.

Wednesday, 15 July - stage 11: Pau - Cauterets, 188km (116.8 miles)

Chris Froome
Froome had a steady day as a breakaway held out to claim the stage win

Winner: Rafal Majka

Report: Froome maintains strong lead

Majka's third stage win at the Tour was never in doubt once he pulled away from a breakaway group during the climb up to the Tourmalet. The Pole finished a minute ahead of Ireland's Dan Martin, with leader Froome finishing safely alongside most of his rivals to retain the yellow jersey.

Thursday, 16 July - stage 12: Lannemezan - Plateau de Beille, 195km (121.1 miles)

Joaquim Rodriguez
Rodriguez was supported up the slopes of Plateau de Beille as he held on for a famous win

Winner: Joaquim Rodriguez

Report: Froome digs in as Rodriguez wins

Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez mounted a late surge up the hors categorie climb to Plateau de Beille to claim his second stage victory of the Tour. The 36-year-old had been part of a 22-man breakaway that gradually splintered as the climbs took their toll. Down the road, race leader Chris Froome resisted numerous attacks on the final climb to maintain his strong position in the race.

Friday, 17 July - stage 13: Muret - Rodez, 198.5km (123.3 miles)

Greg van Avermaet
Greg van Avermaet clinched his first Tour de France stage win on stage 13

Winner: Greg van Avermaet

Report: Froome finishes sixth to maintain gap

In temperatures as hot as 38C in the south of France, Belgian Greg van Avermaet held off Peter Sagan in a thrilling sprint to win a stage otherwise short on drama. Team Sky's Chris Froome finished sixth and made sure he kept his solid lead in the general classification.

Saturday, 18 July - stage 14: Rodez - Mende, 178.5km (111 miles)

Steve Cummings
Cummings looked emotional after his stage win but looked delighted by the time he stood on the podium

Winner: Steve Cummings

Report: Cummings takes stage as Froome extends lead

MTN-Qhubeka enjoyed a dream Mandela Day as Steve Cummings got into a 20-man breakaway and then surged past Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot at the end to claim the stage victory - his first in the Tour de France. Further down the road, Chris Froome resisted attacks from his yellow jersey rivals before extending his lead in the general classification.

Sunday, 19 July - stage 15: Mende - Valence, 183km (113.7 miles)

Winner: Andre Greipel

Report: Greipel wins stage as Froome maintains lead

Andre Greipel
Greipel emerged at the end to power past his rivals and claim the stage victory

Mark Cavendish was left behind on the climb out of Mende at the start and was not involved as German Andre Greipel won a bunch sprint to claim his third stage victory of the Tour. It was a quiet day for the yellow jersey contenders, with Chris Froome maintaining his advantage.

Monday, 20 July - stage 16: Bourg de Peage - Gap, 201km (124.8 miles)

Winner: Ruben Plaza

Report: Thomas crashes as Plaza takes stage

Ruben Plaza celebrates his stage victory
It was the first victory at the Tour for 35-year-old Plaza after he stayed clear of Sagan

Warren Barguil got his line all wrong into a corner on the fast descent into the finish at Gap and ended up colliding with Geraint Thomas, who ended up over the side of the road after smacking a telegraph pole on the way. Thankfully, the Welshman emerged unscathed and was soon on his bike, finishing only a short distance behind the yellow jersey group. The stage was won by Spaniard Ruben Plaza, who slipped off the front of the day's 23-man breakaway to finish 30 seconds ahead of Peter Sagan.

Tuesday, 21 July - rest day

Wednesday, 22 July - stage 17: Digne-les-bains - Pra Loup, 161km (100 miles)

Simon Geschke
Simon Geschke beat Andrew Talansky by 32 seconds on stage 17

Winner: Simon Geschke

Report:Froome leads as Thomas moves fourth

Simon Geschke sped clear on the ascent up the Col d'Allos to win his first Tour de France stage and make it five won by Germans at this year's event. Further down the road, Chris Froome successfully defended attacks by Nairo Quintana to maintain his overall lead, while Tejay van Garderen was forced to retire through illness.

Thursday, 23 July - stage 18: Gap - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, 186.5km (115.8 miles)

Romain Bardet
Romain Bardet won a mountain stage on this year's Criterium du Dauphine

Winner: Romain Bardet

Report: Bardet earns second French stage win

Frenchman Romain Bardet gave the home crowds something to celebrate with a stage win secured with a break on the arduous Col du Glandon. Britain's yellow jersey holder Chris Froome was once again challenged in the mountains, but continued his staunch defence of his overall lead.

Friday, 24 July - stage 19: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - La Toussuire 138km (85.7 miles)

Vincenzo Nibali
Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali has struggled in this year's Tour

Winner: Vincenzo Nibali

Report: Froome's lead cut by Quintana

Chris Froome received his toughest examination yet as he chased Nairo Quintana up the final climb to surrender 32 seconds to the Colombian, who goes into stage 20 trailing by two minutes 38 seconds. Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali won the stage, but his initial break came when Froome had suffered a mechanical fault, which is frowned upon in Tour tradition.

Saturday, 25 July - stage 20: Modane - Alpe d'Huez 100km (62.1 miles)

Nairo Quintana (left) and Chris Froome
Quintana (left) and Froome have developed a great rivalry and respect over the race

Winner: Thibaut Pinot

Report: Froome set to win second Tour title

Chris Froome is set to become the first Briton to win two Tours de France after a thrilling finish to the penultimate stage on Alpe d'Huez. The Team Sky rider was attacked by second-placed Nairo Quintana on the final ascent of this year's race but he managed to limit his losses and retain a 72-second advantage that will see him crowned champion on Sunday in Paris.

Sunday, 26 July - stage 21: Sevres- Paris 109.5km (68 miles)

Chris Froome

Winner: Andre Greipel

Report:Froome completes historic Tour win

Chris Froome crossed the finish line in Paris arm-in-arm with his Team Sky team-mates to complete his historic Tour de France win. Andre Greipel won the final stage, sprinting to victory on the Champs-Elysees, with Mark Cavendish sixth.

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