Chris Froome – The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Rapha presents Life in the Peloton
Image: courtesy of Graham Watson
Well, here we are back with one of our biggest episodes for the year! I’m really excited to bring this one to life – it’s not every day that you get a chance to chat with one of the all-time greats of the sport. With seven Grand Tour wins to his name, including four Tour de France victories, he is indisputably one of the best cyclists of our era. I’m talking, of course, about the legend himself, Chris Froome. Just after the TDU in January, I sat down with Froomey to talk about his incredible career, and take a deep-dive into the tactics behind his impressive win in the 2018 Giro d’Italia.
I was really excited to get the chance to chat in depth with Froomey. He is, of course, a seven-time Grand Tour winner, including four Tour de France wins, two Vuelta a España wins, and one Giro d’Italia win – but his career has been plagued by rumours and unfair treatment, which I was really keen to discuss with him. And whatever your personal opinion of Froomey is, he’s inarguably one of the greatest Grand Tour riders in modern cycling, and in my personal opinion, one of the greatest cyclists of all time.
He’s also a great bloke, but it’s a side to him that not many people get close enough to know. After so many years in the pro peloton, I knew Froomey a bit, and I also know him by reputation through a few close cycling friends that we share. Even though the guy is as professional and polished as they come, I knew from his reputation that there was also another side to him – he’s not just Chris Froome the multiple Tour de France and Grand Tour winner, he’s also a super nice guy, pretty quietly spoken and unassuming, and even a little bit badass at times (thanks to Daryl Impey for the background stories).
So for this episode, I was really keen to go behind the mask, to uncover that other side to the guy that seems almost superhuman, and sometimes so efficient that he’s methodical and even a bit robotic in bike races. We chatted about how he got his start in cycling, and what it was like growing up riding a bike in Kenya. We delved into how he made the leap from Africa, to racing in Europe. And we really got stuck into chatting about that epic stage during the 2018 Giro d’Italia, where he tore the legs off everyone in the race (mine included), and absolutely dominated the fearsome Monte Zoncolan, to come from behind on the GC and take the Maglia Rosa and eventually the overall win. And of course, we spoke about the controversy that has plagued him throughout his incredibly successful career, and what it felt like to be booed, harassed, and even assaulted, day after day, on the already intensely difficult stages and climbs of the Tour de France.
I really loved sitting down with Froomey and hearing from the man himself. Learning more about the trajectory that his career took, and the unbelievable highs that he was able to reach, made for a really fascinating chat. I hope you enjoy getting to know the man, and not just the myth and the legend, as much as I did, and I hope it inspires you to look at this great champion in a new light.
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This episode is brought to you by our friends at Quadlock. Every Day. Every Adventure.
This episode is brought to you by Rapha, makers of the world’s finest cycling clothing & accessories and the world’s largest cycling club, RCC. Find out more about Rapha: their kit, their club, their events, and awesome clubhouses at rapha.cc.
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The theme music for Life in the Peloton was composed by Pete Shelley, who was lead singer of the punk band Buzzcocks. It was commissioned by the production company behind Channel 4’s coverage of the Tour de France in the 1980s and was used as the theme music for the nightly highlights show. Pete died in December 2018. We were given permission by Pete’s widow and his manager to continue using the music for the theme tune to Life in the Peloton. To hear more about the music, listen to the Andre Greipel episode of Life in the Peloton.
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