Who is Chris Froome?

source
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Chris Froome won the 103rdTour de France in Paris on Sunday. It is his third Tour victory, a record for a British rider.

He and his Sky team dominated the three-week race, setting an inferno pace up the toughest mountains and distancing rivals in the time trials.

On and off the bike, “Froomey” is relentless in his training, diet, equipment, and even mental preparation. He has the strongest team in pro cycling. Fiercely competitive, Froome is one of the greatest athletes of our era.

So who exactly is Chris Froome?


Christopher Clive Froome is 31 years old. He was born on May 20, 1985, in Nairobi, Kenya. His nationality is British. He is the youngest of three boys born to Jane and Clive.

source
Juan Medina/Reuters

Froome was raised in Kenya. He won the first bike race he entered, at age 13. When he was 14 he attended school in Johannesburg, South Africa, and pursued cycling. He did two years of college, studying economics, before turning professional at 22.

caption
Christopher Froome of Great Britain at the 2009 UCI Road World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
source
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Source: The Telegraph


Froome once impersonated a Kenyan cycling official, using the man’s email username and password, so that he could get an invite to race in Europe. It worked.

Source: “The Climb


Froome, who is 6-1, went from 167 pounds in 2007 to 147 pounds in 2015, all while maintaining a similar sustained power output. This has helped Froome win races like the Tour de France, where a rider’s power-to-weight ratio is critical to success.

source
Jon Nazca/Reuters

Source: The Guardian


He uses mental tricks on himself. On training rides he focuses his thoughts on his rivals — which makes him work harder.

source
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

“I think a lot about my competitors when I’m training. I think about how they might be riding, and wonder if they are out with their teammates chatting for five hours. Especially if I’m out on my own that day, doing more focused efforts. I’m not just dawdling along. I like to think I’m doing more than the other guys, even when I don’t know if this is the case or not.”

Source: “The Climb”


He pushes himself in training by doing the extra hard work that he hopes will make the difference in races.

source
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

“In my head I am sure Contador and Nibali and my other rivals are out there training just as hard as I am. So some days I add in intervals or do more specific training or more intensity and tell myself they’d never think to ride like this – this is where I get my advantage.”

Source: “The Climb”


He isn’t afraid to be blunt about his opinions — especially on doping and dopers.

source
REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

“I am not a student of Lance Armstrong or that period in cycling. He doesn’t interest me and that era doesn’t interest me.”

Source: “The Climb”


Froome says pain is his friend.

source
David Ramos/Velo/Getty Images

“Pain is still the friend that always tells me the truth. Training is still an addiction. For sure there are days when the pain is overwhelming, where I push into the red so far that I wonder if I will come back.”

Source: “The Climb”


Froome was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2016 for services to cycling.

source
Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool/Getty Images

He married Michelle Cound, a native of Wales who grew up in South Africa, in 2014. The two met through a mutual friend in 2009. She worked in IT and did cycling photography on the side. They now have a son named Kellan.


Froome is cycling’s best stage racer, having won three Tours de France in his past four attempts (he crashed out early in the 2014 race, which he was favored to win). Belgium’s Eddy Merckx, the greatest cyclist of all time and who won five Tours, says Froome is so complete that can win more Tours than he did.

source
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

“Cycling is my job but it also feels spiritual and connected and it’s all I ever wanted to do.”

Source: “The Climb”