Va va Froome: Chris Froome wins Tour de France and England’s Ashes cricketers bask in success, but Lee Westwood washes out
Two out of three ain’t bad – a tour de force for British sport
A birdie on the cool and breezy 18th green of The Open by American Phil Mickelson on Sunday denied British sports fans a hoped-for treble on what had been billed a “Sensational Sunday” of national glory.
After Australia’s tail-end finally succumbed in the dramatic final over on the fourth day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, Chris Froome rode to glory on the Champs-Elysées in Paris in the 100th Tour de France. He secured a second British win in consecutive years in the world’s toughest cycle race to ensure what was by any standard a memorable day of success.
Sunday had proved a multi-channel feast for armchair sports fans, as they tracked the unfolding events on television, radio and the internet, despite the continuing heatwave outside.
Among those following the drama was the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who tweeted his congratulations to Froome and the England cricket team, hailing them for “continuing a great sporting summer” in the wake of Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon victory.
Froome was by tradition unchallenged and assured first place in the general classification in the final sprint stage into the French capital. But with England already sitting on an unassailable lead in the cricket, Lee Westwood was always facing the toughest challenge on the tricky links at Muirfield.
In the end he squandered a three-shot lead, remaining in search of his first major title as he was overrun by the American, who produced a scintillating final round to end the day in a tearful hug with his caddie and family before collecting the claret jug and £945,000 in prize money.
For much of the afternoon The Open had looked like being another British-Australian tussle – albeit better balanced than that at Lord’s – pitching Westwood against Adam Scott, who blew his chances with three straight bogeys. Westwood finished the day in joint third with Scott and fellow Briton Ian Poulter. As Mickelson’s name was being etched on to the Claret Jug, England’s bowlers were ruthlessly grinding out a one-sided win and raising the prospect of a whitewash in the Ashes. The mood in the ground at Lord’s on a balmy evening was one of jubilation tinged only with the slightest hint of disappointment at the failure of the Aussies to put up more of a fight. With three more Tests to go between the old rivals this summer, followed by a further five over the winter Down Under, England look set to ram home their superiority with both bat and ball for months to come.
For Froome, victory in Paris saw him match Sir Bradley Wiggins’s feat in 2012 – a success which resulted in his fellow Team Sky cyclist being honoured with a knighthood.
The 28-year-old has worn the coveted yellow jersey for the past 13 stages. But unlike Wiggins, Froome, who was born in Kenya, grew up in South Africa and now lives in Monte Carlo, has faced a barrage of scepticism from observers – despite passing repeated drugs tests. He dominated the mountain stages, entering the final stage with a lead of more than five minutes.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer talk: Juan Cuadrado Chelsea move imminent; Manchester United eye Nathaniel Clyne; Andre Schurrle medical at Wolfsburg
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
Kim Sears: Andy Murray defends fiancée's for outburst after a bad-tempered march to final
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...