Sky's the limit for Froome

Team Sky rider Chris Froome, in the overall leader's yellow jersey, and Movistar rider Alejandro Valverde, sprinting to the finish line of the 110.5km 20th stage of the 102nd Tour de France from Modane to Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps. Froome says h
Team Sky rider Chris Froome, in the overall leader's yellow jersey, and Movistar rider Alejandro Valverde, sprinting to the finish line of the 110.5km 20th stage of the 102nd Tour de France from Modane to Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps. Froome says he will keep riding until "36, 37 or 38 maybe".PHOTO: REUTERS

After two victories in the Tour de France, Chris Froome will keep pushing himself

L'ALPE D'HUEZ (France) • Chris Froome was set to be crowned Tour de France champion for the second time early this morning (Singapore time) but he is already planning his next success.

Froome and wife Michelle Cound are expecting their first child at the end of this year. And he said impending fatherhood will make him only stronger and more determined.

"If anything, I'm going to probably have even more motivation and reason to pedal my bike faster," the 30-year-old said.

"Obviously, being a parent will change life for me but a lot of bike riders out there have kids and seem to have managed just fine.

"I've been speaking to a lot of other riders and some team-mates who have recently had kids and it's been almost like reborn energy to keep chasing their career goals - I hope that will be the case with me."

He said while winning the Tour - which he first did in 2013 - is enough to make anyone's career, for him the process of preparing to win is his true motivation.

And he said he certainly is not going to be satisfied with just two Tour crowns.

"For me, that's what this is all about, that's a side of cycling I love. I love sacrificing, I love training, hard work, that's what gets me out of bed in the morning," he said.

"I'm not trying to do it for a specific amount of Tour de France titles, for fame or some kind of award.

"I love pushing my body to its limits, I love the freedom cycling gives you. I'd like to carry on as long as my body allows me. I've set myself a goal to keep doing this until the age of 36, 37 or 38 maybe. Who knows if I can carry on that long but I'm definitely going to try."

Froome fought grimly, despite a chest complaint, to limit his losses to Nairo Quintana on Saturday's 20th Tour stage finish on the iconic Alpe d'Huez climb.

Barring an unlikely mishap, he is expected to become the first Briton to win cycling's greatest race more than once.

But there was already plenty of drama near the finish line yesterday before Froome got to that part of the 109.5km-stage from Sevres to the Champs Elysees.

French police were yesterday searching for the driver of a car that smashed through a security barrier in central Paris.

Police opened fire on the car, failing to stop it from speeding away after the incident in the Place de la Concorde at the foot of the famous Champs Elysees.

The car was later found abandoned nearby.

A police source said witnesses saw two men and two women leaving the bullet-riddled car.

The race was to set to finish at the Arc de Triomphe, at the other end of the Champs Elysees, after the cyclists perform several laps up and down the famous avenue.

An interior ministry spokesman, Pierre-Henry Brandet, said: "There is no clear link for the time being between this incident and the Tour de France finish."

No one is believed to have been hit as the police shot at the car, and police stressed that no shots were fired from the car.

Leading up to the final stage, Froome had a 1min 12sec lead over Quintana.

While many people marvelled at his stunning stage 10 victory up to La Pierre-Saint Martin, Froome said what had made the difference in the race was his consistency.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2015, with the headline 'Sky's the limit for Froome'. Print Edition | Subscribe