Chris Froome says Giro d'Italia win was 'biggest battle of career'
27 May 2018, 22:18
Chris Froome has described his Giro d’Italia victory as "by far the biggest battle of my career" after he claimed his maiden victory in the event.
The Team Sky rider already had four Tour de France titles and overall victory in last year's Vuelta a Espana to his name.
The Giro had previously evaded him and after a heavy crash in Jerusalem on the recon ride of the opening time-trial on May 4, it looked as though it may not be his year again.
But Froome became the first Briton to win the Giro in its 101-year history and only the third after cycling greats Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx to hold the Tour de France, Giro and Vuelta a Espana at the same time.
"This has been by far the biggest battle of my career," Froome told Sky Sports News. "In none of my other Grand Tour victories have I had to make up the kind of deficits I have had to in this Giro.
"This is one of the hardest I have won. One of the reasons I have not won it until now is because it is such an unpredictable race. It is like the classics version of the Grand Tour.
"Anything can happen and for that reason, it is the biggest challenge for me.
"I had a tough start to the race. I had a couple of crashes earlier on, was in a lot of pain and struggling to feel myself after the crashes.
"I kept a little bit of hope in me that I would come right in the final part of the race, which was so brutal but so crucial to the overall standings of the event.
"The race got turned completely on its head in the last couple of days and I'm so grateful I had the support of such an amazing team to help me when the chips were down.
"There is still so much I want to achieve in this sport and hopefully there are a few more to come."
Froome went into the Giro battling to clear his name after an adverse analytical finding for the asthma drug salbutamol but he insisted he was able to focus on the race.
"It hasn't been a massive distortion for me. I've got an absolute clear conscience when it comes to that," he added.
"I know I have done nothing wrong and I had every right to be here and race. I've been completely focused on the job in hand."
(c) Sky News 2018: Chris Froome says Giro d'Italia win was 'biggest battle of career'