Froome's victory celebrated in SA

Chris Froome's former schoolmates at St John's in Houghton are ecstatic about his win.

2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome schooled at St John's College in Houghton. Picture: www.stjohnscollege.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - Chris Froome's former schoolmates and housemaster are celebrating after he was crowned champion of the 100th edition of the Tour de France.

The old St John's college boy is the first African-born cyclist to ever win the race.

Team Sky's Froome, the winner of three stages, took the yellow jersey in 4 minutes 20 seconds.

The cyclist was born in Kenya, schooled at St John's in Houghton from age the of 14, and later studied at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

He is now a British citizen who currently lives in Monaco.

Froome's former housemaster Allan Laing has described how the Tour de France winner went from watching his first race more than a decade ago to winning it in Paris on Sunday night.

"He watched his first Tour de France in 2002. I remember that in those days I had control of the DSTV in the boarding house and I watch it religiously every year so he was watching it simply because I was watching it."

Froome's school friend Aleks Andjelopoli says he is extremely proud.

"He was an exceptionally loved chap, always humble and focused on his cycling. I am incredibly proud of him for having achieved the win at Tour de France."

Speaking after the race, Froome said he grew up riding dusty landscapes in Kenya.

"I never dreamed I'll be standing on the podium staring down the Champs-Élysées having won the biggest race in the cycling calendar. Every day I woke up knowing I faced a fresh challenge. I have to thank all my teammates for helping me achieve this dream."

Car hooters and sirens were heard into the early hours of Monday morning as people from all over the world took to the streets to celebrate the conclusion of the race.

The main streets of Paris were locked down and thousands of spectators lined the streets ahead of Sunday night's first ever dusk finish to the Tour de France.

Froome dominated the race from stage eight when he took over the yellow jersey from Daryl Impey, who was the first South African to wear it.

"This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time."

Froome is the first tour champion to be crowned since Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven titles for doping and some of his performances in the race were inevitably greeted with suspicion.

"I'm glad I've had to face those questions after all the revelations of the last year. I'm glad that's been channelled towards me."

Froome thanked his team and fiancé Michelle. He dedicated his victory to his late mother Jane.

'OUTSTANDING MAN'

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford, anticipating the scepticism around the Tour in the wake of the Armstrong scandal, said, "When you think about the future of cycling, you see that it is in good hands with Chris.

"He is an outstanding man. I have no doubt on his victory. We are in a transition period with all these young riders who have not lived the doping era."

Froome follows on from compatriot and teammate Bradley Wiggins who sat out of this year's race for health reasons.