One real giant who is towering over a previously tainted sport is the extraordinary Chris Froome, whose victory in the Tour de France was as inevitable as a pair of Theresa May kitten heels. This is Froome’s third Tour victory, and a colossal achievement. He’s been undervalued, perhaps because he looks like a spindly seven-stone weakling who is about to get sand kicked in his face. But he is as tough as tugboats. As one commentator recently observed, he now not only dominates the Tour as a rider but he bosses it as a person too.
Froome is indeed slightly built, even for a cyclist, and is very accommodating with the media, despite them casting unfair doubt on his claims to be clean. But he is one steely son of a gun. He doesn’t take any rubbish from spectators and was even fined this year for whacking a fan who came too close. And he wasn’t afraid, a few years back, to get into a spat with Bradley Wiggins, who became very shirty when Froome started going too fast though he was just meant to be a back-up rider. He is an unlikely monster, which is undoubtedly what he becomes once he gets on his bike. He revolutionised the art of descent riding and effectively won the Tour over a few seconds on the eighth stage in the Pyrenees when he accelerated away downhill from the top of the Col de Peyresourde, straddling his crossbar in a skier’s racing tuck. The chasing pack couldn’t get anywhere near. On the dreaded Mont Ventoux he started running up the last kilometre when his bike got smashed up by a TV motorbike. He might sound like a Saffa (he’s Kenya-born) but he’s one of ours. No honour too great for Chris Froome.