Tour de France: Chris Froome hails Mont Ventoux win as biggest of his career
By Matt Westby in Vaison-la-Romaine. Last Updated: 15/07/13 3:32pm
Chris Froome admitted it was an emotional victory
Chris Froome admitted his stunning victory on Mont Ventoux on stage 15 of the Tour de France was the biggest win of his career.
The Team Sky rider blew away all of his general classification rivals away to become only the second rider to triumph on the iconic climb while wearing the yellow jersey.
It extended his overall lead of the race to 4min 14sec and kept him in pole position to become the second successive British Tour winner in Paris in a week's time.
"This is the biggest win of my career," Froome said. "This is massive. Everyone wanted to win this stage today. It really was an epic stage.
"It is such an emotional win for me today. I didn't imagine this. This climb is so historic and it means so much to this race, especially being the 100th edition."
Froome rode the last 6.3km alongside Movistar's Nairo Quintana and expected the Colombian to beat him to the summit.
However, Froome left him behind with a surge 1.3km out from the finish line to claim his second win of this year's race.
"I really didn't see myself winning this stage today," Froome added. "I thought I'd have to surrender the stage to Quintana in the final.
"He is a really strong climber. I did expect him to [attack] a little further out but I didn't expect it to be that hard to try and catch him.
"In the last 2kms he started fading and I had a little bit left. I said, 'Come on let's just keep pushing on, we're getting more of an advantage on the guys behind us'. He started working with me. The last two kilometres I don't think I attacked he just couldn't hold the wheel any more.
"My main objective was to get more of a buffer on the GC. But I didn't see myself winning that stage today. I really can't believe it."
Froome's stage-winning burst came just metres from the spot where fellow Briton Tom Simpson died 46 years ago yesterday.
The modern-day star of British cycling admitted the placing of his attack was not intentional, but was pleased to mark the spot in such a historic way.
"It was just circumstantial that it was close to Tom Simpson's memorial, but it was definitely worth paying tribute to him," he said.