Rising from relative obscurity to Grand Tour stardom in the course of one season, Chris Froome is now regarded as one of the most successful stage racers in history. His trajectory in professional cycling wasn’t expedited by huge talent at an early age, instead, his path was built on a foundation of consistency and diligence. Signing with Team Sky in 2010, he worked as a domestique for leader Bradley Wiggins for two seasons before his first Tour de France victory in 2013. He attributed his breakthrough performance — second at the 2011 Vuelta a España, while riding in support of Wiggins — to overcoming the parasitic disease bilharzia, which had affected him intermittently since 2009.
Born in Kenya to British parents, Froome attended school and university in South Africa. He began studying economics at the University of Johannesburg, but in 2007 withdrew after two years upon signing his first professional contract with South African outfit Konica-Minolta. In 2008 Froome made his first appearance at the Tour de France with wildcard team Barloworld-Bianchi. After competing under the Kenyan flag for the first two years of his professional career, he made the decision to represent Great Britain. He’s since been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his athletic achievements within cycling.
As a GC rider, Froome’s racing style is calculated and steady. He’s as comfortable ascending a mountain as he is on a time trial bike, with numerous TT wins as well as bronze medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic time trials.
Froome’s three Tour de France victories came after two years of disciplined domestique service. In 2013 he assumed leadership of Team Sky when he took GC victories at the Critérium International, the Tour of Oman, the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Tour de Romandie, and the Tour de France. He’s since won 10 Grand Tour stages, 19 stages at weeklong races, three wins at Critérium du Dauphiné, and three Tour victories — an incredible résumé that propels him into legendary status.