On 22 July, 2012,Chris Froome made history as the first African-born cyclist to stand on the podium at the Tour de France. Ten days later at the London Olympic Games he won a bronze medal in the time trial for his adopted nation in Team GB colours. Froome's path to professional cycling, from mountain biking on dusty roads in the nature reserves of Kenya's Great Rift Valley – alongside wild animals – to the giddy heights of the Tour de France and the Olympics, has been unlike any other in the history of the sport. Born in Nairobi to British parents he was schooled in South Africa and studied economics at university. But he abandoned his degree to take up the offer of a professional cycling contract in Europe. A fish out of water, unused to the harsh northern hemisphere winters, with no idea of the tactics, discipline or etiquette of riding in the professional peloton, Froome encountered a shock entrance into the rough and tumble world of top level European bike racing. But miraculously, within two years he'd signed for the biggest professional cycling team in the world – British Cycling supremo David Brailsford's Team Sky – finished second overall in the Tour of Spain by only 14 seconds and sacrificed his own ambitions to help teammate Bradley Wiggins become the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France. On the Champs Elysees in Paris, Froome stood below Wiggins on the second step of the podium.