Froome secures fourth Tour de France title

Froome secures fourth Tour de France title

"I was in the position I wanted to be in the corner, but maybe I should have gone a bit earlier", admitted Greipel, whose Lotto Soudal team failed to win a single stage this year. "Physically he is unquestionably one of the best riders in the world, but it's his mental strength which gives him the edge".

The oldest Tour champion is Belgium's Firmin Lambot, who won the race for a second time aged 36 in 1922.

It was Froome's closest Tour struggle yet as his final winning margin was less than a minute for the first time, Colombia's Rigoberto Uran finishing second at 54sec with Romain Bardet of France, the runner-up last year, third at 2min 20sec.

He said: "A three-week race is a long time to be fully concentrated and what tends to happen is that you have periods of intense focus, but then you have respite and can gather yourself for the key moments".

He was thrilled by the support in Marseille, where the start and finish of the time trial were in the Stade Velodrome football stadium, calling the atmosphere "enormous".

Froome was crowned again after victories in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and said he was hungry for more.

"He deserves all the accolades he gets and I'm proud of Chris Froome - he's a great ambassador for the sport and a great ambassador for Team Sky and I'm sure a lot of people think the same". 'It feels so privileged to even have the opportunity to be going for that next year'.

Team Sky have now won five of the past six Tours following Sir Bradley Wiggins' victory in 2012. It's just noise in the background. First, cook a stock with the fish heads and tails, tomatoes and saffron.

We kid, because the four-time Tour winner brought something better with him to a couple who got engaged after he claimed victory: A ring.

He is already targeting a second Grand Tour of the season, with the Vuelta a Espana starting in less than four weeks, and glory there would bring another piece of history, even if Froome is not especially interested in breaking records.

At the end of three weeks, 21 stages and more than 3,500km, Froome rolled over the line on the Champs Elysees in Paris with a broad grin alongside his Sky team-mates, who wore a special kit for the occasion with their usual blue stripe replaced by a yellow one.

Peter Sagan has proved the master in recent years of snaffling points on difficult stages, getting in the right breakaways and winning intermediate sprints. Polka-dot jersey (best climber): Warren Barguil.