Brailsford: "We weren't a cycling nation a few years ago, we are now!"

Carlton Reid
Brailsford:

As Chris Froome became the first Briton to win the Tour de France three times his Team Sky boss Sir David Brailsford told ITV in Paris that he's "proud to be British". Brailsford added: “We weren’t a cycling nation a few years ago, we are now!”

Froome lost time on today's processional into Paris but that was because of the now traditional roll over the line arm-in-arm with his team-mates.

Team Sky has been the strongest team at this year's Tour de France and was built around Froome. The Kenyan-born rider previously won the 2013 and 2015 editions of the world's biggest annual sporting event.

Sir Bradley Wiggins, in 2012, was the first Briton to win the race. British cyclists now dominate world cycling, with 23-year-old Adam Yates of the Orica BikeExchange team winning the best young rider competition at this year's Tour, and with Mark Cavendish winning four stages. British riders won seven of the 21 stages at this year's race (France was not so lucky, winning just one stage).

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Froome is now the eighth rider to win at least three Grand Boucles, joining Belgium's Phillipe Thys, Louison Bobet of France and American Greg LeMond (Lance Armstrong has been struck from the record).

Other Britons to shine this year included Steve Cummings of Cavendish's Africa-based Dimension Data team, who won stage seven of the Tour, and Dan McLay of the Fortuneo-Vital Concept team who kept up with the best sprinters in the world in the first week of the Tour. 

Froome's British team-mates Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard rode as part of a dominating team, excelling in the mountains. At the end of today's stage Thomas said: "If [Sky] paid me to entertain, I'd entertain but they don't, they pay me to win [for the team]."

Team Sky is a British team, sponsored by the Murdoch-owned broadcaster, and is clothed by Rapha of London and fuelled by Lancashire's Science in Sport. (It rides Italian-designed Chinese-built bikes.)

Froome – and other members of Team Sky, including Thomas and Stannard – will compete in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday 31st July. 

Mick Bennett, race director of what is billed as the "world's richest one-day race", said: “We are proud Chris has chosen the Classic as his last race before Rio. Now British fans have the chance to watch him in action and cheer on the man who has achieved the incredible feat of three Tour de France wins. We expect thousands to come out and line the streets of London and Surrey."

Bennett added: “It confirms the important place the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic now holds in the international calendar. The fact that the three-time winner of the Tour de France views this race as the perfect preparation for his bid for Olympic gold shows the calibre of the race we have developed in just three years."

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