Chris Froome has been chosen by Cyclingnews readers as the Best Male Road Rider of 2017 in our annual end-of-season poll. The Team Sky rider, who pulled off the Tour de France – Vuelta a España double, won with 32 per cent of the vote.
Last year’s winner Peter Sagan, who became world champion for a third time, ran Froome close with 29 per cent of the vote, while Giro d’Italia champion Tom Dumoulin was the next best placed on 15 per cent.
Froome, uncharacteristically, did relatively little outside the Grand Tours this year, but readers were no doubt convinced by the historic nature of his achievements. Bernard Hinault was the last rider to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year, but Froome is the first to do it since the Vuelta moved to late summer.
The Vuelta title represented the culmination of a six-year itch. Froome had finished on the podium three times, the first being his breakthrough as a Grand Tour contender in 2011, but never had the killer touch he displayed with such consistency at the Tour. There were a couple of minor wobbles in Spain this year, but Froome, shepherded by the strongest squad Sky have ever taken to the Vuelta, was a convincing winner.
At the Tour, it was business as usual, Froome having grown into the yellow jersey over the years. It was, on paper, the closest Tour in decades, but it never felt like there was much suspense in the air. Froome joined an elite club of four-time winners of the Tour and closed in on the four all-time greats out in front with five.
Froome’s season ended with a silver medal in the time trial at the World Championships. Dumoulin was the man who came storming up behind him on Mount Floyen to take gold – symbolic, perhaps, of Grand Tour battles ahead.
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