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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 16 October, 2018

'The fact that nobody has ever won the Tour and then the Vuelta afterwards - it's incredible'

Chris Froome is struggling to comprehend becoming just the third man to win the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana in the same year.

Chris Froome won his second Grand Tour of the year with the 2017 Vuelta a Espana.
Chris Froome won his second Grand Tour of the year with the 2017 Vuelta a Espana.

CHRIS FROOME IS struggling to come to terms with his accomplishment after claiming Vuelta a Espana glory at the sixth time of asking to complete an astonishing double with the Tour de France.

Team Sky rider Froome followed up his fourth Tour victory by finishing in the red jersey in Spain, becoming just the third man to win both Grand Tours in the same year.

Jacques Antequil and Bernard Hinault also achieved the feat, but the Briton is the first to do it since the Vuelta was moved to follow the Tour.

After finishing as a runner-up in 2011, 2014 and 2016, Froome was delighted to finally take the title.

“It’s just an incredible feeling. I’m still coming to terms with everything. It’s just been such a whirlwind and it’s been such an incredible journey,” said Froome.

“Just the fact that nobody has ever won the Tour and then won the Vuelta afterwards, it’s incredible to have been able to do it.

“Obviously, I didn’t do it alone, it was thanks to an amazing team behind me and thanks to so much support from everyone – from the fans, from my family and friends.

Spain Vuelta Cycling Source: Francisco Seco

“It’s just been an amazing few months and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to that.

“I’ve been fighting for this victory now for six years and three years I’ve been standing on the second step. It’s just amazing to stand on the top step this time.”

Froome finished 11th in Madrid to deny Matteo Trentin, who won Sunday’s intermediate sprint and the stage, first place in the points classification.

Having also topped the combined standings, the 32-year-old was delighted with his haul.

“I figured this would probably be the only time in my life to try and win the green jersey of a Grand Tour, so I gave it everything I had and managed to get a few points at the finish there,” he said.

“Obviously, I couldn’t be happier with the result. I’m just a bike racer and of course if there’s a competition to be won I’m going to go for it.”

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