Team Sky backing Froome to compete amid reports of ban
TEAM SKY are “confident” Chris Froome will take part in this year’s Tour de France.
According to a report in the French newspaper Le Monde, race organisers Amaury Sport Organisation have told Team Sky that British star Froome will not be allowed to race.
Froome’s appeal against a drugs test remains unresolved.
Although Froome has always maintained he did not break any rules, it is reported that ASO have taken a stance to protect the race’s image. It starts next weekend.
A Team Sky spokesperson said: “We are confident that Chris will be riding the Tour as we know he has done nothing wrong.”
Le Monde also reported that Team Sky have appealed against the decision to the court of arbitration of the French Olympic Committee, with a decision expected in the next few days.
Froome is appealing against an adverse analytical finding at last year’s Vuelta a Espana. A urine test carried out during the race found a larger than permitted dose of salbutamol in his system.
Froome, who has won the Tour de France four times, is allowed to continue competing, pending an outcome of his case.
Team Sky have not yet announced their eight-rider team for the Tour. Five-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault has called on other riders to go on strike if Froome is cleared to compete.
Connor Swift raced away from the pack to take the men’s road race title at the National Road Championships in Stamfordham.
The Madison Genesis rider completed the last 13km of the 185.6km course largely unaccompanied after making a decisive move, to finish 22 seconds ahead of Aqua Blue Sport’s Adam Blythe, with Team Sky’s Owain Doull in third.
The 22-year-old, part of a 17-rider breakaway early in the race, held off Blythe’s late challenge to claim victory in 4.19.06.
In the women’s race, Jessica Roberts struck late to clinch victory 1.5 seconds ahead of Olympic gold medallist Dani Rowe.
Melissa Lowther attacked with 3km of the 106.2km remaining and held an 11-second lead, but Wales’ Roberts reeled her in and held off Rowe’s challenge, with team-mate Ellie Dickinson crossing the line in third place.
CHRIS FROOME: A cloud hangs over the British cyclist ahead of this month’s Tour de France.