Chris Froome beat everything which was thrown at him, literally, to become the first Briton to win two Tour de France titles yesterday.
On his way to victory, the 30-year-old was forced to contend with a whispering campaign, faced countless accusations of doping, was spat at and had urine hurled at him.
He responded perhaps in the only way he knew how –by winning.
Resplendent in yellow and riding a canary yellow bike, he had a leisurely pedal into Paris to wrap up a spectacular three-week slog of furious racing.
The concluding stage from Sevres to Paris is traditionally a procession and saw Froome sip champagne and pose for photographs with his team-mates. The only trouble he found on the last day was when a paper bag became caught on his bike, requiring a change, on the penultimate lap of the Champs-Elysees.
His Team Sky support riders wore yellow stripes on their shorts and helmets, bright in sunshine that broke through clouds late in the stage and dried out puddles.
Froome and his teammates finished together linked in a line, their arms over each other’s shoulders, with the yellow jersey winner grinning in the middle.
In his victory speech Froome paid tribute to the support he had received from his team-mates along with his pregnant wife.
“My utmost respect and gratitude: this is your yellow jersey as much as it is mine,” he said.
“Thank you to all the support staff at Team Sky. Your endless dedication and commitment is what has got us through the tough moments of this year’s Tour de France.
“And a special mention to my coach Tim Kerrison and team manager Dave Brailsford.
“Thank you to my wife Michelle. Your love and support are my strength and motivation. I can’t wait for this next chapter of our lives to begin together with a baby boy.”
Born in Nairobi on May 20, 1985, Froome represented Kenya at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, where he caught the attention of British Cycling chiefs Sir Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton, who learned he was eligible to represent Great Britain through his English father and maternal grandparents.
He is now the clear favourite to win the 2015 Sports Personality of the Year award.
The bookies have cut Froome’s odds to 5/2 from 4/1 for the gong following a rush of bets triggered by pictures of him riding to victory around Paris, leaving him to pull clear of his nearest challenger Lewis Hamilton at 7/2.
Froome is also already the favourite to hold on to the yellow jersey in 2016, with odds of just 6/4 offered about him landing back to back Tours.