Herald Sun

I’m no drug cheat


TOUR de France leader Chris Froome has chal­lenged his de­trac­tors to prove he has been dop­ing be­fore mak­ing un­sub­stan­ti­ated ac­cu­sa­tions.

Froome has had to cope with a bar­rage of ques­tions about dop­ing since a stun­ning win on the Tour’s 10th stage on Tues­day, when he opened up an al­most three-minute lead over the rest of the field.

With other moun­tain stages to come, some peo­ple be­lieve Froome could end up win­ning by a land­slide.

While fend­ing off ques­tions about his le­git­i­macy some­one al­legedly hacked his Sky team’s com­put­ers and stole some train­ing data which was then pub­lished on the in­ter­net.

“Those peo­ple should come and see us train, see how hard we work and see how I live my life,” a de­fi­ant Froome said fol­low­ing Wed­nes­day’s 11th stage, in which he main­tained his lead.

“Then tell me I’m not clean!”

He added: “Peo­ple should have some proof be­fore they start mak­ing ac­cu­sa­tions.”

A video of Froome’s fa­mous vic­tory on Mont Ven­toux dur­ing his 2013 Tour-win­ning year was pub­lished on the in­ter­net show­ing that his heart-rate re­mained sta­ble at 160 beats a minute de­spite him ac­cel­er­at­ing away from his ri­vals.

Many peo­ple re­acted in­cred­u­lously to that, be­liev­ing it to be im­pos­si­ble.

But Froome dis­missed any such con­cerns.

“I’ve put that data out there my­self in my book. I said my max­i­mum heart-rate is only 170,” the Kenyan-born rider said. “Af­ter two weeks of the Tour on Ven­toux it’s quite sur­pris­ing it’s 160, it’s nor­mally a bit lower than that.”

Sky man­ager Dave Brails­ford said the sus­pi­cions were to be ex­pected.

“I think with the past we’ve had in cy­cling, it’s rea­son­able,” he said.

Brails­ford also pointed out that the gaps be­tween Froome and some lesser lights on Tues­day’s stage were noth­ing to be alarmed about, quite the op­po­site in fact.

Tony Gal­lopin, a French­man not noted for his climb­ing abil­ity, and Adam Yates, a 22year-old Bri­ton rid­ing his first Tour de France, both fin­ished just two min­utes be­hind Froome.

But be­cause the likes of reign­ing cham­pion Vin­cenzo Nibali and two-time for­mer win­ner Al­berto Con­ta­dor lost 4min 25sec and 2min 51sec re­spec­tively, tongues started wag­ging.

In Wed­nes­day’s 188km 11th stage, Poland’s Rafal Ma­jka took the hon­ours af­ter a solo break­away in the Pyre­nees.

 ??  ?? Chris Froome climbs the Col du Tour­malet as an ap­par­ent Hawthorn sup­porter tries to keep pace with him. Pic­ture: GETTY IM­AGES
Chris Froome climbs the Col du Tour­malet as an ap­par­ent Hawthorn sup­porter tries to keep pace with him. Pic­ture: GETTY IM­AGES

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