At 28, Froome is entering his peak years as a bike racer. His prowess on climbs and in time trials gives him the essential ingredients to win more Tours. At Sky, he’s backed by one of the best-funded, organized and smartest teams.
With few exceptions, including the absent Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali and Wiggins, the cream of cycling’s grand tour riders raced in the 100th edition. That Froome beat them so handily suggests he'll again be the overwhelming favorite in 2014 — in the 101st Tour that starts in Leeds, northern England.
Scottish rider David Millar, who completed his 12th Tour on Sunday, said one of Froome’s strengths is that he is able to handle the very intense training needed to win the Tour without getting burned out by it.
‘‘There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be. I think the sport’s harder than it’s ever been. In order to win, especially in the manner in which Chris has done it, with the training ... You know, he doesn’t really get time off. It’s very demanding physically and psychologically. But I'm not sure how long anybody can do that for,’’ Millar said. ‘‘He’s very Zen-like. I think that’s his big advantage. That’s the kind of juxtaposition he has. He has that ability to operate at a very high level, say scientifically, but stay serene and Zen-like. Whereas other guys, they don’t have that ability to switch off.’’
Froome also had the sprinkling of good luck riders need to win the Tour. He only grazed his knee when he hit a curb and fell at the start of the Tour, on Stage 1, and he avoided a pile-up that fractured the pelvis of his teammate, Geraint Thomas, who gritted his teeth and continued to Paris.
AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire in Paris contributed.