RICK JACKSON: It’s time to get behind our amazing champion, Froome

Rick wants Brits to take Tour de France champion Chris Froome to their hearts (Picture by PA)

Why is Chris Froome Britain’s least loved great sportsman?

Isn’t it time we took this shy, unassuming champion to our hearts?

It took us a while with Andy Murray, but four time Tour de France champion Chris really is one of Britain’s greatest ever sportsmen.

He’s won four out of the last five Tours.

More than two billion watched The Tour worldwide.

The Americans love it, so do the Australians and the French, Spanish, Italians and Germans go barmy over it.

We now dominate the sport’s biggest competition but the French can’t believe how much apathy we show to our amazing champion.

They hate him because France has not had a winner since 1985 and, to add further insult, he’s British.

Well, born in Kenya to British parents who moved there to farm.

Educated in South Africa he turned pro in 2007.

We took rockstar-esque cyclist Bradley Wiggins to our hearts.

He was cool, he hung out with famous people and he really is British.

Well, actually, he was born in Belgium. Chris dominates the world’s hardest sport.

Three weeks of physical attrition; of relentless mental calculations and stress; of staying ahead of a shifting mass of rivals ganging up to unseat you; of managing egos and efforts within your own team; of high mountains and cruel cross-winds.

Then there are the spectators.

Booed openly by the French on mountain climbs, he receives constant verbal abuse and had urine thrown at him during last year’s Tour.

He looks set to continue his domination, but it seems crazy to me that he has yet to appear on the podium of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year and only has OBE after his name.

If by 2018 he is not Sir Christopher Froome and doesn’t possess a silver four-turret lens camera trophy, I shall be writing very strongly worded letters to Her Majesty and the director general.

It’s time to love Britain’s current number one sportsperson.

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