I’m Beginning to Like Chris Froome

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If you get past Chris Froome’s unattractive riding style, then add-on to it his cheeky moves during this year’s Tour, then he might just be winning over a lot more fans.

First, when he won that stage and took over yellow on a descent.  How unexpected was that?  I was never very much impressed with his descending abilities and then that.  Obviously, he had pre-ridden that descent a bunch of times.  But the way he did it in the race was very impressive.

When he was doing the Peter Sagan, top-tube pedalling deal, it didn’t look nearly as bad as you’d think for a lanky guy like Froome.  I would love to see his power file from that race.  I’d bet anything he was putting in way more than the 200 watts that Sagan once said he adds in that position.  He looked like he was really pedalling hard.

Then yesterday when he took off with Sagan with 12 km to go in a sidewind.  After the fact, I’m not sure it was the best move for a rider trying to win the overall in the Tour, especially since today is finishing on the Ventoux.  But you have to respect the effort.

This Tour, he has broken the status quo mold of Grand Tour racing and actually attacking  off the front.  The sit in, boring ass, bike racing has become just that.  Both of those stages would have been more of the same old shit if he didn’t shake it up and take those risks. And he is taking risks.  But I believe his risks are good for him personally and good for the sport. People are tired of seeing robots day after day.

I’m beginning to like Chris Froome.  For sure his aggressiveness.  Bike racing is way more exciting and tactical than the way it has been done the past 15 years or so.  He has, at least, cracked the mold a little, maybe not broken it, but hopefully other guys will notice and it has the chance to return to the more unpredictable sport it really is.  That is part of what makes it so interesting.

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18 thoughts on “I’m Beginning to Like Chris Froome

  1. Jpete

    I don’t know. Beginning to feel very WWE to me. Just my opinion. As impressive as Froome looked in his Sagan impression, it was weird that the field seemed to be soft pedaling the descent in a blob behind him. It looked pretty clear he’d rehearsed his role, though. And maybe Quintana is just saving his energy, but he looked great all the way up the climb the other day. And he didn’t take ANY digs at Froome? Strange tour.

     
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  2. K Mann

    This has been a great tour so far. Froome has broken the mold a bit, but Sagan has just been amazing. Just what the sport needs.

    Steve Tilford: If you are looking for a piece to write about, would be interested in your thoughts about race commentary. My opinion is that Mathew Keenan and Robbie McEwan are doing a great job and are several steps above the others.

     
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  3. Mark

    I agree i am beginning to like Chris Froome too, i saw a tv special on him shown on itv4 the same channel on the internet with live tdf coverage.

    Steve, one big area of disagreement we have is about guns. Can’t you get over your irrational fear and see that guns are cool like bicycles are cool? Getting a new bike with a great frame and latest drivetrain and braking technology is the same as buying a new rifle that is lightweight and manufactured with the best CNC machining processes. Shooting it and hitting the mark at 100, 200, or 300+ yards or meters is a zen like experience much like a descent down a mountain where your lines are right on. Shooting and the shooting sports are fun and millions of rounds are fired everyday with no harm to anyone just like the million miles traveled without accidents on two wheels. Why restrict this activity?

    Steve, you and i are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured on our bikes than we are in a gun related violent incident. Hell, we are more likely to win a lottery than be victims of mass murder. Your fear comes from the media, stop watching so much news, dude.

    Some people or should I say motorists view bicycles much the same way you and other anti gunners view guns. They want bicycles off the road and out of their way and see them as dangerous because they feel their ignorance of bikes will mean they will accidently hit and kill a biker. Others road rage against us and create dangerous situations in traffic trying to bully the rider in the most cowardly display of human stupidity.

    Maybe we can agree on a subject like a great rider like Froome but until you get your head out of the crazy world of politics and the 24 hour news media cycle you may never see the truth of an implement as simple as a firearm and how it itself is not evil. Only man is capable of that.

     
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    1. James

      Same news cycle that makes you gun nuts stock up everytime there is another mass shooting?
      I choose the risk of operating a vehicle on a public road. I shouldn’t have to worry about some scared by society conceal carry john wayne wanna be shooting me.

       
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      1. brndll

        Can’t you spot a troll? This guy likely gets paid for every “pro” gun post he can put out there that is over a certain word count. Its the new economy.

        I do like how he eased into the topic within a few sentences. I was impressed for a whole half minute or two.

        Keep it about cycling here folks.

        -signed, middle age cyclist who also has a gun and lives/born in texas… but who also watches F1, reads books regularly, likes soccer/football, goes to art galleries, has photo press pass, and cooks for his family… oh and wears an apple watch. See, I am well rounded.

         
      2. Tony

        I do not think the problem lies with the person who legally carries a handgun per a permit to carry law. It lies with the criminal who who carries a weapon whether it be a knife or gun or whatever with intent to harm other as they feel so inclined. There is the real threat.

         
      3. Craig

        Tony

        I do not think the problem lies with the person who legally carries a handgun per a permit to carry law. It lies with the criminal who who carries a weapon whether it be a knife or gun or whatever with intent to harm other as they feel so inclined. There is the real threat.

        What??????? The last several mass shootings were done by somebody who legally bought, owned and carried firearms. The PROBLEM is that for the most part we never know until after the fact who is the problem … then the finger pointing begins. Here is some reality for ya … the standard argument always includes, well former military personnel should be allowed to do whatever with guns because they are trained and blah blah blah. The reality is that the largest killer of former military personnel is mental illness (suicide being the action most take to end it when it gets too much) … so if you look at the statistics, the people we should first NOT allow to carry and have weapons are ….

        You get my point? If there is no way to isolate those who will cause harm to others via a tool, then the next step is to remove said tool. It has never been shown statistically that more guns makes anyone or society in general safer. Anecdotally people are swayed by single incidents.

        99% of all gun violence is carried out by people, who up until the moment they pull the trigger, are law abiding citizens who legally can own the weapon. Think that one through.

         
  4. shano92107

    “good for the sport” – agree 100%. CF definitely turned some heads with those 2 showings.
    Sagan is bringing star power to cycling which is GREAT. While his racing is undeniably great I didnt care for his early shenanigans off the bike. Seems like he’s toned that part down and is racing better and more exciting than ever. His efforts and confidence this year are just amazing. Folks that met him during this years AToC have all mentioned how genuinely nice and grateful he is for what he has and for what he’s done in the sport. Hoping these positives keep on coming and pro cycling keeps the trend going upward

     
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  5. Paper Back Rider

    I totally concur with you about Fromme. That attack on the descent was epic. In my mind it was enough to cancel out his elbowyness.

     
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  6. mech9

    Agreed 100% .. Froome is actually “old school” bike racing like he said. None of this Robot stuff. The guy is as nice as can be in his interviews. Never understood all the hate towards him.. Want to talk about “robot” racing. Look at NQ.. All he does is just sit on wheels and match whatever froome is doing. He never goes for it.. He’ll do a jump here and there for about 10m and then just sit back on froome wheel. So boring.

    Wow wonder what happens after todays stage. That was so messed up. They are already saying “motorcyle” but that motorcycle had to stop because the f’ing ridiculous crowds. The ASO is going to have to do something. The crowds just totally screwed up one of the most important stages of the tdf.

     
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  7. Star

    I’m not convinced. Seems that the main reason Froome can win is his team, who totally sets him up and who could probably make anyone a winner; put him with another team and where would he be…? Not in yellow, that’s for sure. And, yeah, he did some unexpected stunts the past days, but it’s still painful to watch him on the bike. During the descent he looked like an overgrown child pedaling a threewheeler. Never want to see that again. And he didn’t even have to; it was just weird.

    Agree that Quintana has become a bit more careful and unexciting than past years, but he probably does what he can given his team resources. Still though, I’d take cool Nairo over angular Froome any day.

    Not to mention Sagan, this year’s total TdF star. Doing everything himself basically. SO impressive – and boy, can he ride! Now there’s someone who’s truly enjoyable to watch on the descent! Watch Col de Manse last year and see how it is supposed to be done.

     
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  8. barb

    Great comments about Froome and the Tour in general. Being mostly a mountain biker who trains for mtb on the road also, and never involved in road racing myself other than as an observer, it’s great reading an insightful analysis from someone whose experience allows them to understand more than what things appear to be, on the surface. Thanks for your commentary.

     
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  9. The Cyclist

    Steve, I remember a post a couple years ago where you weren’t all that happy about this ridiculous pedaling from the top tube descending style calling it ugly and outright dangerous. What has changed?

     
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    1. Steve Tilford Post author

      Cyclist – I was wrong. Well, I was wrong about not liking the position enough to do it. It is much faster. After seeing all those guys do it, I started trying it, alone. It is sketchy and I doubt anyone that does it on a constant basis, didn’t initially burn the inside of their knees with their front tire. But it is way faster. I believe Peter Sagan won the Worlds in Richmond because of the tuck. He distanced EBH and GvA on the last descent using it. And Froome, obviously, has been practicing. He looked like he was actually putting real wattage into his pedals. That is a skill. I have no ability to pedal while using the “Sagan” tuck. I might have to try it.

       
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