Tour de France: Sir Dave Brailsford tips Chris Froome to become a 'multiple champion'
By Matt Westby in Paris. Last Updated: July 22, 2013 7:45pm
Sir Dave Brailsford, left, has paid tribute to Chris Froome, right
Sir Dave Brailsford has claimed Chris Froome is still to reach his peak and has the potential to become a multiple Tour de France champion.
Froome sealed a maiden Tour triumph in Paris on Sunday by safely finishing the peloton on the Champs-Elysees to round off a dominant display over the past three weeks.
The Team Sky rider won three stages, including two mountain-top finishes and an individual time trial, on the way to a 4min 20sec victory over Colombia's Nairo Quintana.
He was the second successive Briton to claim the yellow jersey after Sir Bradley Wiggins 12 months ago and Brailsford believes more wins could follow.
Brailsford focussed on future
The Team Sky principal said: "It is impossible to say how many Tours Chris will win, but he has all the physical and mental attributes to be able to be competitive in this race, if nothing drastic changes, for quite some time. I think he has all the ingredients of a multiple champion.
'Not at his best yet'
"He is not at his best yet. For sure, he can still reach a better physical condition than he is now."
As well as overcoming his rivals on the road, Froome also had to contend with repeated accusations of doping during the Tour.
His reaction to the scrutiny appeared to reach a tipping point on the second rest day, when he described being asked if he was clean as "not cool", but Brailsford insisted his rider's handling of the questioning over the course of the race had been admirable.
He added: "For somebody to be accused of being a cheat, as he has been, with venom at times, and the way he has dealt with that has been absolutely first class.
Froome thanks teammates
"He hasn't snapped, he has been patient and tolerant, and he understands why certain people could be venomous towards him.
"But he knows when you are doing it right, it is helpful to be able to deal with the situation, and that is a credit to him. He will be a lot more experienced and wiser for the experience."
Brailsford has now masterminded back-to-back Tour victories and while his team have become the dominant force in road cycling, he insists they are still learning the lessons of three-week Grand Tour racing.
"We came into this three years ago very naïve and we are accumulating knowledge all the time," he said.
"There are things we learnt last year that we have taken into this year, and there is a lot we have learnt from this year that we will take into next.
"There are a whole variety of things, from how you ride, the element of risk that you can afford to take, how offensive and defensive you have to be, how to manage the media. They are all big challenges."