Briton Chris Froome has won his second Tour de France title in three years to enhance his growing reputation as a grand tour specialist.

It was Team Sky's third Tour triumph in four years after Bradley Wiggins prevailed in 2012 before Froome succeeded him in 2013.

The 30-year-old Froome, a late bloomer who surged into the limelight when he took second place in the 2011 Tour of Spain, beat Colombian Nairo Quintana by one minute 12 seconds and Movistar teammate Alejandro Valverde of Spain by 5:25.

Final classification
1.  Chris Froome (Team Sky)         
2.  Nairo Quintana (Movistar)   
3.  Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 
4.  Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
5.  Alberto Contador (Tinkoff - Saxo)
6.  Robert Gesink (LottoNL)
7.  Bauke Mollema (Trek)
8.  Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling)
9.  Romain Bardet (AG2R)  
10. Pierre Rolland (Europcar)

Billed as a four-way battle between Froome, Quintana, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali, the Tour quickly turned into a duel after the double Tour winner from Spain and the Italian defending champion cracked in the Pyrenees.

Froome, the first Briton to win the Tour twice, made his mark in the mountain stage to La Pierre St Martin in the 10th stage before riding defensively to hold off Quintana, who came close to make him crack in Saturday's stage to l'Alpe d'Huez.

Froome, who crashed out of the race last year, also relegated Quintana to second place in 2013 and their rivalry could develop into a classic one.

Because rain had made the tiny cobblestones of the Champs Elysees slippery, the clock was stopped 41 km into the 109.5-km stage on Sunday but Froome still had to complete it to be officially crowned champion.

He finished safely in the main bunch as the sprinters contested the last action of the three-week race around the Champs Elysees.

Source: Reuters