Froome finally isolated from teammates in China. Contador rues missed chance.

Yellow Gi in trouble?

It didn’t happen in the Tour de France or the Vuelta a Espana, where Chris Froome of Team Sky always had teammates around him as he rode to victory in both grand tours.

However, it finally occurred right after the China Criterium in Shanghai as Froome, wearing the yellow silk robe of Tour champion, was left without teammates during a challenging day of Tai Chi.

Sadly, neither Rigoberto Uran, second to Froome in France, or polka dopy jersey winner, Warren Barguil, or Alberto Contador, could do anything about it.

“Yes, he was isolated but at this point it was too late,”said Uran, correctly noting that the Tai Chi session was not a bike race. “He was alone but there was nothing to be done, so we just did the exercises and then watched the ceremonial Lion Dance.”

The Frenchman Barguil, also lamented that the Tai Chi was not a stage in a grand tour, instead of a traditional form of exercise in the Far East. “We had him on the ropes, to be sure. If this had been the Tour, I could have picked up five minutes at least,” said Barguil. “You could see he was not good at the Tai Chi and I had fantastic legs. Alas, it was an opportunity that came too late.”

Perhaps the most frustrated rider was the now retired Alberto Contador. Fourth in the Vuelta after a series of nearly endless attacks in the high mountains, the Spaniard could only shake his head watching Froome all alone on stage doing Tai Chi.

“This was what Nibali and I tried to do in the Vuelta. Get rid of his Sky teammates and then attack. It didn’t happen in the Tour or the Vuelta and yet in happens months later in China when the season has ended and I’m retired,” said Contador. “My chi was incredibly strong but such is life.”

For his part, Froome was simply happy to survive the festivities at the end of the year. “It was a hard day, a tough day, and I knew everyone would look for any weakness,” said Froome. “I felt pretty good about the archery and I had Kwiatkowski with me for the sumo wrestling but then lost him before we hit the Tai Chi. But I didn’t panic, I just controlled my breathing and worked through the next two exercises.”

After a noticeably rough start in the first Tai Chi moment, Froome was able to finish strong despite the lack of teammates. Like the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana, Froome defended himself well after the China Criterium.

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