Considering the sole thing Chris Froome has done wrong over the past five Tour de France was crash out injured in 2014, the Kenyan-born Brit clearly doesn’t get the praise due from a public weary of cycling controversy.
Don’t forget, Sir Bradley Wiggins only became the first British cyclist to take Le Tour in 2012 with the help of then-superdomestique Froome, who appeared perfectly capable of mounting a challenge to the modish knight, untitled as he was.
Wiggins’ many achievements during that campaign, including Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie, Criterium du Dauphine and Olympic Time-Trial glory, led to BBC Sports Personality of the Year success against then-US Open tennis winner Andy Murray and various track-and-field stars.
Fast forward four years and Froome appears to have no chance of claiming the gong, with Wimbledon champion Murray warm favourite to land his third SPOTY title in four, despite the 29-year-old Scot’s famously dour demeanour.
Even the likes of boxer Anthony Joshua, a world champion for a whole three-and-a-half months to date, and Gareth Bale, whose individual impact for Champions League winners Real Madrid and Wales at Euro 2016 is tricky to define, are more fancied to take the laurels than the three-time Tour de France winner.
Froome’s third title puts him joint-fifth on the all-time list in one of the world’s toughest sporting events, if not the toughest, so why hasn’t the 31-year-old’s moment arrived?
It could be his upbringing, with the African tinge in Froome’s accent setting him apart from Wiggins at least, but the latter originally hails from Belgium and has an Australian father, making him no more British than a man born in Kenya to English parents.
The Lance Armstrong doping scandal casts a long, suspicious shadow over cycling, but we knew about all that when Wiggins was laden with honours, Froome alongside him for Team Sky, so this doesn’t wash either.
Allied with Froome racking up Tours like the American cheat in his heyday, there seems to be a reaction of caution mixed with boredom from the British public, but when the great destroyer of Armstrong’s legacy, journalist and author David Walsh, receives sustained criticism for defending Team Sky, we need to take a step back.
Chris Froome is 13/20 with bwin to make it three Tour de France in a row, and four overall, next summer.