Chris Froome 'already a great' without gold medals

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British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton believes Chris Froome must be considered among the nation's greats despite the absence of an Olympic gold medal from his roll of honour.

Froome completed his second Tour de France triumph on Sunday but has yet to match the popularity of Sir Bradley Wiggins, who topped the podium at London 2012 just days after winning road cycling's greatest prize himself.

Sutton believes it is time for Froome - who was spat on, had urine thrown in his face and was the subject of repeated unsubstantiated allegations of doping en route to winning the Tour - to be given the recognition he deserves.


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And Sutton confirmed Froome will compete in both the road race and time trial at Rio 2016, meaning he could land Tour de France and Olympic glory in rapid succession next year, matching the feat of Wiggins.

"The problem with Chris Froome is that the horse had bolted in as far as Brad had already won the Tour," Sutton said, at the launch of British Cycling's new adidas kit in London.

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"Brad was the first, but by right Chris is a British great already. He's won two Tour de Frances and people need to start embracing that fact.

"Probably after this Tour win people will embrace him because of the adversity he faced and the way he was treated.

"When you look at the Tours he won, they were big wins. He's got it all and he's not appreciated as he should be. Hopefully now the British public will get behind him going forward."

Sutton believes Froome's second Tour de France crown will mark the beginning of a period of domination from the Kenya-born 30-year-old.

"Froome has plenty of Tours lefts in him, it's just a matter of his desire and hunger to carry on winning the Tour," Sutton said.

"It doesn't just happen, the amount of work he will have done to get where he is will have taken a lot out of him. He'll go away now, reflect and look at his hunger meter.

"I think he'll win several Tours. The double and treble has been done in the past, but the level of racing is so much higher these days."

"I'm not 100 per cent convinced that he's set a time when he's going to stop, but I believe that over the next two or three years he will dominate.

"He's still very hungry for that and if he achieves that, it will be fantastic and he can walk away.

"He's still relatively young so has plenty more time, but he's very hungry to win two or three more because he'll want to walk away as a Tour legend."

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