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Congratulations to Chris Froome, who on Sunday joined an elite group of just seven other cyclists to win the Tour de France three times.

Notching up his third victory in four years, he rode across the finish line in Paris alongside his Team Sky teammates after three weeks of gruelling stages taking in some of France's most beautiful scenery and physically demanding roads.

Froome's time for the 2016 Tour (the total time taken to complete all 21 stages) was 89 hours, four minutes and 48 seconds, finishing four minutes and five seconds ahead of second place French rider Romain Bardet. He had worn the prestigious yellow jersey since Stage 8, hanging on to it for two thirds of the Tour, gradually building his lead.

It wasn't all plain sailing for Froome though; on the Stage 12 ascent of Mont Ventoux he and two other riders crashed into the back of one of the tour motorcycles which had been forced to brake after spectators crowded onto the route. With his bike unrideable and a replacement from his team car several minutes away, Froome set off running up the mountain in desperation (pictured).

He briefly accepted a bike from the neutral support car, but the cleats on his cycle shoes would not fit the pedals. Eventually he was given a replacement bike from his own team and finished the stage on two wheels, losing valuable time to his main rivals. However, a jury decision ruled he should be given the same time as the first of the three riders involved in the crash to cross the line.

On Stage 19, during a treacherous descent in the rain, Froome was one of several riders to fall off as his front wheel slipped from under him. Although he was not seriously injured, his bike was damaged, forcing him to swap with his teammate Geraint Thomas and finish the stage on an unfamiliar bike. Again he managed to retain, and even extend, his overall lead.

The only other controversy for Froome came on Stage 8 when he punched an over enthusiastic spectator who was running alongside him on a tough ascent. Froome said he feared the spectator's flag would tangle in his wheels or gears, but he was fined 200 Swiss Francs for lashing out. Even so, several other riders and commentators openly backed his reaction, saying that the foolish actions of some spectators were seriously threatening the safety of riders.

On winning the 2016 Tour, Froome was quick to pay tribute to his fellow Team Sky riders, stressing it was very much a team victory. Each team of nine riders has a leader – the one most likely to carry the team to victory – and it is the job of the other riders to support him throughout the Tour and give him the best chance of winning. Froome did the same job himself for Bradley Wiggins, helping him win become the first British rider to win the Tour de France in 2012.

In 2013 it was Froome's turn as lead rider, winning his first Tour. The following year he crashed out on Stage 5 after falling three times in two days, but he returned in 2015 to take victory again and has now made in three in 2016. Next month he will also represent Britain at the Rio Olympic Games, going for gold in the time trial and the road race.

After winning the Tour de France and Olympic gold in the same year, Bradley Wiggins was knighted and if Froome can do the same this year there will no doubt be pressure for a similar honour. He was previously awarded an OBE for services to cycling in this year's New Year Honours.

As for the future, Froome is keen to return to the Tour de France and maybe even join the group of just four Tour legends who have each won the race five times – Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, Belgian Eddy Merckx and Spaniard Miguel Indurain. The only man to win more was disgraced American rider Lance Armstrong who was subsequently stripped of all seven of his wins after admitting taking performance enhancing drugs.

On current form, it would seem there is little in the way of Chris Froome adding further Tour wins to his impressive tally and becoming one of cycling's all-time greats.

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