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Britain's Chris Froome Wins 100th Tour De France


British winner Christopher Froome (center) celebrates with Team Sky teammates after crossing the finish line in Paris of the 100th running of the Tour de France on July 21.

British winner Christopher Froome (center) celebrates with Team Sky teammates after crossing the finish line in Paris of the 100th running of the Tour de France on July 21.

Kenyan-born Briton Chris Froome has won the 100th Tour de France, becoming the second straight U.K. rider to beat the field in one of the sports world's most grueling events.

Froome, 28, cruised to victory in Paris at the end of a 133-kilometer trek from Versailles on the final day of the race.

Froome, of Team Sky, claimed his first yellow jersey with a winning margin of four minutes, 20 seconds over Colombian Nairo Quintana.

Froome was the runner-up in 2012, when fellow Team Sky racer Bradley Wiggins won.

Wiggins didn't compete this year for health reasons.

This Tour was the first since Lance Armstrong was stripped last year of his record seven Tour wins after admitting to doping in a spectacular fall from grace.

In the wake of the Armstrong scandal, the specter of performance-enhancing drugs hung over the Tour.

Froome and his team have always denied using such techniques, and no substantive evidence has emerged to suggest that he has.

Froome's victory was cheered in Paris by many visiting Britons.

"There are plenty of riders that people know are not clean," one of Froome's countrymen on hand for the evening finish, Ben Marshall, said. "[Froome] has always worked hard and he deserves where he's got to."

Another Briton, who gave her name as Sandra, called the spectacle of the final sprint along the Champs-Élysées in the French capital "a great event."

"We love watching it on television at home and then we come here and we watch it live," she added. "It's absolutely fantastic, we really enjoy it. Great atmosphere here on the Champs-Élysées. Fantastic. And Paris do a wonderful job."

Froome won three stages during his march to victory, though not the 21st and final stage, which was captured by Germany's Marcel Kittel.

Froome secured his victory through a series of devastating attacking runs on mountain climbs, in which he built leads of several minutes, and in time trials, or races against the clock instead of fellow riders.

Froome's winning margin was the largest since 1997.

In that year, Jan Ullrich -- who has admitted to doping -- beat Richard Virenque -- who has also confessed to using performance-enhancers -- by nine minutes, nine seconds.

The win by Froome, who was born in Nairobi of British descent and went to school in South Africa, marked the latest in a string of major victories by British sportsmen following last year's London Olympics.

Those victories have included Justin Rose's win at the U.S. Open in golf, the British and Irish Lions' win in their rugby test series against Australia, and Andy Murray becoming the first British men's singles champion at Wimbledon in 77 years.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP
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