Africa celebrates Kenyan-born rider’s Tour de France victory


Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Picture: Denismenchov08)

UK cyclist Chris Froome, who was born in Kenya to parents of British descent, says he hopes his victory in the Tour de France will inspire young Africans. When he was 14, he moved to South Africa to go to school and also attended university in Johannesburg.

Froome crossed the finishing line in Paris on July 21st to win the 100th Tour by more than four minutes on July 21st.

As a teenager, Froome began riding with a group called the Safari Simbaz, led by David Kinjah, a professional Kenyan cyclist, and won a cycling medal for Kenya in the 2007 All Africa Games before switching to the UK in 2008.

Although cycling is not a massively popular sport in Kenya, even before the largely ceremonial last stage finishing at the Champs-Elysees, hundreds of Kenyan riders had already celebrated with a procession of their own through Nairobi.

Kinjah said the victory of a friend would inspire a new generation of cyclists in the country. “We can feel the energy all the way from France being transferred to us here in Kenya,” he said.

Froome is not one to forget his roots: he rode with a Kenyan flag on his bike and sent a message on Twitter during the race to promote Safari Simbaz.

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