“It wasn’t easy, there were a lot of great sprinters here so the only option was to attack,” said Froome. “We had great support from the public here in Shanghai. It’s a great way to end the season.”
The largely ceremonial race was set up this year by Tour de France organisers ASO to run ahead of the existing Saitama Criterium, which has seen a flavour of the Tour de France exported to Asia for the past five years.
More a chance to show off the stars and colours of the Tour than showcase serious racing, Froome, wearing the yellow jersey of Tour de France winner, triumphed on the flat course – made up of 20 laps of a three-kilometre circuit – in a field that included sprinter Marcel Kittel, who won five stages at this year’s Tour.