Chris Froome survives to take second Tour de France
HE faced constant accusations of doping, had urine thrown at him, was spat on ... even faced allegations his bike was illegal.
But the biggest challenge for Chris Froome in this year's Tour de France came on the penultimate stage, the climb up Alpe d'Huez.
Leading main rival Nairo Quintana (Movistar) by two minutes 38 seconds at the start of the stage, the race came down to the final 13.9km ascent.
Quintana made his move about half-way up, and quickly had Froome, who was being supported by teammates Richie Porte and Wouter Poels, in trouble.
"I was on my absolute limits. I felt like I was dying a thousand deaths - but being with teammates makes it a lot more manageable,'' the Brit (pictured) said.
After Porte and Poels dropped off, the 2013 champion was left to hang on by himself for the last kilometre or so, eventually losing 86 seconds, but hanging on to secure his second title ahead of last night's ceremonial ride into Paris.
Quintana and teammate Alejandro Valverde took the other podium spots.
"It feels as if we've been up against everything these last three weeks, and to have still come out on top, it's unreal," Froome said.
"To have won the Tour once was a dream come true. To come back and do it a second time, that's more than I could ever have imagined."
The 30-year-old rode a near-perfect race, while Quintana was left chasing after falling more than two minutes behind on stage two when strong winds split the peloton.