Culture

PYSO, ep. 82: Chris Froome on his unusual path to the top of cycling

The Kenyan rider believed in himself through trials and tribulations.

At the 2006 UCI world championships in Austria, a young Chris Froome walked into the manager’s briefing meeting, sopping wet in his cycling kit. He was told he wasn’t welcome – the meeting was for managers only. He said he was the manager, and he plopped himself down.

And in fact he was. He was Kenya’s sole representative in Austria. Earlier that year, Froome had impersonated the Kenya cycling federation president in email to enter himself into the races. There was no one else to support him. He had flown, alone with his time trial and road bikes, to Europe for the first time.

He was figuring it out.

Two days later, he started the U23 time trial and, just as he was getting underway, collided with a race official on course.

Fast forward to today, and Froome of course has won seven grand tours and multiple Olympic and world championship medals. The young man from Kenya found a way.

On this episode of Put Your Socks On, Froome checks in from California, where he is training four day a week at the Red Bull Performance Center. Froome talks about what is was like growing up in Africa, the obstacles he faced in breaking into a European sport, and his love for racing.