February 17, 2017
Chris Froome used to be bad at cycling. He joined the Barloworld team in 2008 and from then until the 2011 Vuelta he managed only one victory, in the Giro del Capo in South Africa.
‘Bad’ is all relative of course. He was good enough to be a professional cyclist and he was also good enough to be signed by Team Sky. But the story goes that before that 2011 Vuelta the team were done with him. They wouldn’t be renewing his contract because he wasn’t worth paying anymore.
But then he finished second in the Vuelta, a Grand Tour, ahead of his team leader Bradley Wiggins. If time bonuses weren’t awarded during the race, Froome actually would have won. He had clocked a faster time around Spain than eventual winner Juan José Cobo.