NEWS » Chris Froome - the first Brit to win Giro d'Italia

Chris Froome - the first Brit to win Giro d'Italia

Chris Froome became the first British man to win the Giro d'Italia. The 33-year-old Team Sky had his third successive triumph in the final stage in Rome which completed his set of Grand Tour victories. In the general classification, Chris Froome beat the 2017 Giro champion, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, by finishing 46 seconds clear of him.

Froome is the third man in history to hold simultaneously the Grand Tour title, Tour de France win and maiden La Vuelta victory (after Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault). All these victories were achieved in the space of 10 months.

The 21st and last stage of the race that which goes through the suggestive streets of the capital has been neutralised 7 laps from the end: that meant that the circuit had been completed entirely but the last 7 laps didn’t count for the final classification. This was requested by the cyclists due to the dangerous road surface, that is holes in the road and the uneven surface of cobblestones. These are problems that the romans have to face up to everyday making roads unsafe not just for sportive competitions but for everyday life.

During the Giro d’Italia final, the sport hero seemed to be in difficulty for the majority of the race. His victory was unlikely after he lost time on the leaders in stage nine and he came close to abandoning the race altogether.

All changed on Friday's gruelling 19th stage where Froome produced an extraordinary performance as a consequence of Sky abandoning their usual tightly controlled tactics in an all-or-nothing fight for the pink jersey.

Unfortunately, there could be a rewriting of the record books once the doping verdict arrives. 

In December, a report revealed that when he won the Vuelta three months earlier he had exceeded the permitted levels of salbutamol, an asthma medication that could potentially affect muscle mass. A urine test indicated he had double the permitted level of the asthma drug salbutamol.

Cycling's governing body - the UCI – is still investigating, but Froome denyed any wrongdoing. Bernard Hinault, French former professional cyclist who won the Tour de France five times and is a firm anti-doping supporter, has launched a devastating attack on Chris Froome, claiming that the Team Sky rider should never have been on the Giro d’Italia start line.

This is clearly a very complex case, involving many lawyers, documents, and much money. David Lappartient, the president of the UCI, said the chances of Froome’s case being resolved before the Tour had reduced from about 50% a week ago to possibly less than 50%. It is understood Froome’s defence will centre on challenging the efficacy of the test.

Giulia Lombardo

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