Saturday July 20th, 2013

Stage 20Annecy / Annecy - Semnoz

Start 13h40 GMT 2+

Chris Froome: "I had the overwhelming feeling of, 'I've done this...'"

interview20.07.2013Stage 20- Annecy / Annecy - Semnoz

It's a tradition at the Tour de France that the rider in the yellow jersey after the penultimate stage attends a media conference before the race to Paris. Here are some of the answers from the soon-to-be champion of the 100th Tour de France...

“For me, what this represents – the journey I've taken to get here from where I've started, riding on a little mountain bike on dirt roads in Kenya – and to be here the yellow jersey at the Tour de France... it's difficult for me to put into words. This really has been an amazing journey for me. The race has been a fight every single day. Crosswinds, rain, mountains... on one occasion I was riding on my own to the finish at others I was surrounded by team-mates all the way.

“It's fitting for the 100th edition, it has been a special race this year.

“The first time that I thought, ‘Okay, I could become a GC rider for a race like the Tour de France' was at the 2011 Vuelta a España. Up until then I'd have good days and showings of what I was able to achieve. But that Vuelta gave me a lot of confidence and belief in myself and that, actually, I do belong in this group of riders at the front of general classification.

“This is an amazing feeling. Everybody keeps telling me that this is life changing but I don't want things to change. I've enjoyed the challenge this year... to get ready for this year's Tour has been a fun challenge and I've enjoyed every bit of it.

“We definitely have to think on our feet. It's not as easy as just listening to the radio and doing what they say. On the final climb today, for example... I'd liked to have ridden away and won the stage but I just didn't have the legs to follow.

“In the last couple of kilometres today, I had the overwhelming feeling of, ‘I've done this...' it was a very emotional feeling, a great realisation of what I've achieved.

“It's definitely been a challenge. Whoever was in this position, whoever was in the yellow jersey, would have come under scrutiny. I'm also one of those guys who was let down by this sport but we're willing to do whatever it takes to show people that the sport is doing what it can to turn things around. [The Reasoned Decision] hasn't taken away from my happiness.

“I'm just thinking about the here and now... I'm 28 now and, if you think a bit like that, most cyclists come into their prime in their early-30s. I'd love to come back and contend for the Tour de France as long as I can and as long as I've got the motivation.

“[The worst moment] was probably on Alpe d'Huez when I could feel like I was completely flat of energy. If you've ridden a bike you'll know the feeling I'm talking about when you have no more energy and you see a sign saying five kilometres left... it's a really hard thing to try and get through physically and mentally and thankfully I had my team-mate Richie Porte with me and he gave me a lot of motivation.

“When I first joined Team Sky, they asked me what my aspirations were and what I wanted to achieve. Being able to target the Tour de France was one of those longer term goals but to be sitting here three years later in yellow the day before the Tour goes to Paris... I'm not sure if I'd ever see that happen."

Stage 20 Annecy / Annecy - Semnoz

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 14

Classifications after the stage 14

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