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Friday 14, Aug 2015

  Athletics Should Follow Anti-Doping Lead Of Cycling, Says Froome

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Team Sky rider Chris Froome has urged athletics to follow the lead of cycling and emphasize on investing a lot more money in anti-doping.

The double Tour de France champion remarked testing in athletics is not up to the level as in cycling from what he understands. Froome also commented that the world governing body of cycling, the UCI, spends about four times what is spent by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) spends on testing. He added the IAAF is going to have to invest a lot more heavily in anti-doping and also remarked that would be a step in the right direction.

Presently, the IAAF spends about £1.3m a year on anti-doping as compared to £6m spent by the UCI. A big majority of UCI’s anti-doping expenditure comes from the professional teams as a condition for their licenses to compete in UCI competitions.

Froome also added that he believes some things have changed quite substantially for cycling since the dark ages of 10-15 years ago when the sport was really dirty. The Team Sky rider said testing in cycling has really evolved and the world governing body of cycling has now implemented 24-hour testing and went on to add that he has every confidence that the system now really works. Froome also revealed he has no issues with night time testing and told he was tested at his Monaco apartment at 3pm on Sunday as that demonstrates to fans that he is clean.

Cycling’s tainted era legacy is too obvious to Chris Froome who was subjected to ridicule. During this year’s Tour de France, one fan threw urine at him and other fans spitted at him. Froome’s teammate Richie Porte was punched during a stage. Froome said he does not blame fans for wrongdoings on the roadside and remarked his anger is rather directed at supposed cycling experts in the media who have left no stone unturned in casting suspicious about Froome’s performances.

The rider added the fans were only following the words of the media who were saying this team is not believable and also remarked if the public is told that enough times by journalists, it’s only natural that’s what people will believe. Froome also said he does not think any sportsman should have to go through what we went through during this year’s Tour de France.

Team Sky released Froome’s performance data during this year’s Tour to dispel the negativity surrounding their ace rider. Froome also promised to undergo independent physiological tests that could be shared publicly. Froome said it is something he wanted to do from the start of the season, even before all this came up during the Tour. The cyclist added the physiological testing could even help him understand what makes me him who he is and what it is about him that allows him to make the efforts he does. Froome also said he is open to do the VO2 max test that many of his critics have asked for and added there are plans to perform the peak oxygen uptake assessment but also commented he “would not be rushing into it”.

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Friday 17, Jul 2015

  Doping Critics Hack Computers For Chris Froome Data

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Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford has revealed that critics of Team Sky have hacked into the performance data of Tour de France leader Chris Froome.

Sir Dave Brailsford said he believes data has been stolen by team’s critics to discredit the performances of Froome and raise doping suggestions. The Team principal added we think someone has hacked into our training data and got Chris’ files, so we’ve got some legal guys on the case there. On Monday evening, a video that purportedly showed the ride of Froome on Mont Ventoux during the 2013 Tour with data on speed, heart rate, power, and cadence overlaid was removed from YouTube. Viewers of the video took to social media for interpreting the data and many suggested that there was evidence of doping. Froome had previously expressed his frustration ahead of the Tour of “clowns” trying to interpret power data.

Chris Froome was leading the 2015 Tour de France by 12 seconds on the first rest day in Pau. Froome recently produced a ride to conquer stage 10 of the Tour de France and increase his overall lead to nearly three minutes. Froome – who led by 12 seconds overnight – broke away with 6.4km left of the first summit finish of the 2015 Tour de France to win in La Pierre-Saint-Martin. BBC Sport’s Matt Slater remarked this was a devastating win for Froome and Team Sky, with Grand Tour champions and challengers scattered all over the road up to La Pierre-Saint-Martin. Slater added July 14 is when France celebrates the revolutionary storming of a notorious prison, the Bastille and today was the moment Chris Froome’s revolutions probably locked up the yellow jersey for a second time in three years. Slater went on to add that Froome’s critics are convinced he is cheating and they claim they have the data to prove it but his supporters, however, say those numbers only prove he is a special athlete who has got even better with hard work, careful eating and great coaching. He also remarked absolute agreement is probably impossible as ever with cycling.

Froome, winner of the 2013 Tour de France, and his team have always insisted that they compete cleanly. During his victorious ride in the 2013 Tour, the British professional road racing cyclist faced repeated doping accusations. It was because of this reason that Team Sky release climbing data of Froome dating back to 2011 to French sports newspaper L’Equipe after their expert concluded that performances of Chris Froome were possible without doping.

Froome, who is presently riding for UCI ProTeam Team Sky, turned professional at the age of 22 in 2007 with Team Konica Minolta. Brought up in Kenya and South Africa, Chris Froome joined the British-based team, Barloworld before he moved to Team Sky. The cyclist made his breakthrough as a contender for the Grand Tour during the 2011 Vuelta a España where he finished second overall. In 2014, he won the Tour of Oman and then the Tour de Romandie.

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Saturday 07, Mar 2015

  Kevin de Weert And Greg Van Avermaet Plead Innocence

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Kevin de Weert And Greg Van Avermaet Plead Innocence

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) has been asked by the Belgian Cycling Federation (KBWB-RLVB) to appear before the Disciplinary Commission on March 13 to answer questions in relation to the investigation into Doctor Chris Mertens, along with cyclo-cross stars Bart Wellens and Tom Meeusen.

Van Avermaet pleaded innocence and said he was a patient with Doctor Mertens and he is going to explain himself to the federation, why he was there. The Belgian professional road bicycle racer, currently riding for UCI ProTeam BMC Racing Team, said he doesn’t have anything to blame myself for and he is going to give his explanation and then all will be behind him.

The Belgian cyclist came very close to winning the World Tour race Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec in 2012 and went on to win the Flandrian of the Year award in 2013 because of his consistency in high profile races along with Chris Froome. Van Avermaet won the Flandrian of the year for the second season in a row after he won the GP Impanis-Van Petegem in 2014.

In a press release, BMC Racing Team said it is aware that Van Avermaet was treated by Dr. Mertens, but is unaware of any treatments that would be in violation of any rules. The team added no decision based on the information available to the team at the present time has been made to remove Van Avermaet from active status. It was added the team will continue its investigation and will evaluate new information at such time as it becomes available and added the team will not comment further on the matter at the present time out of respect for Van Avermaet.

Dr Chris Mertens is under investigation for providing ozone treatment to athletes. It is claimed that Mertens allegedly doped blood of athletes with ozone by drawing blood and then enriched it with ozone and transfusing it back into their bodies. Mertens is also accused of encouraging athletes to dope. The Belgian Cycling Federation is investigating Mertens and a list of 19 athletes potentially treated with ozone therapy. Mertens is also accused of prescribing Vaminolact injection. The infant medication is not illegal itself but administering it with an infusion breaks the no-needle policy of the world governing body of cycling, the UCI. The list of athletes reportedly includes prominent Belgian cycling and cyclo-cross riders, including the likes of Tom Meeusen.

In another development, Kevin de Weert said he is not under investigation in the Mertens trial. The Belgian professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTeam Omega Pharma-Quick Step said he was a patient at doctor Mertens’ practice for a short period of time in 2012, which is close to his home. The cyclist added he received a court letter at the end of 2013 with the request to voluntarily provide them with DNA material as they wanted to close the case and remarked he voluntarily gave samples of his DNA to them in the beginning of 2014. Kevin de Weert also added he does not have to justify himself at the court or his sports federation, because he never received any summons for hearing.

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Friday 30, Jan 2015

  Armstrong Says He Will Cheat Again If Doping Remained Pervasive

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Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who admitted to extensive use of banned performance enhancing drugs during his career, has remarked that he would use the drugs again if he was competing in the doping-abundant culture that existed in professional cycling during the 1990s.

The former American professional road racing cyclist, who won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005, was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories. Armstrong received a lifetime ban from competitive cycling by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2012. This was after Armstrong was found guilty of using and promoting the culture of performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. In January 2013, the cyclist admitted to doping and use of banned drugs and techniques such as blood doping, testosterone, cortisone, and human growth hormone during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Armstrong denied using banned drugs before he was held guilty by USADA. He called many former teammates and riders liars when they accused him of doping. Lance Armstrong also threatened lawsuits against many of them.

The 43-year-old, in an interview with the BBC, said he had to make use of performance enhancing drugs in order to compete. Armstrong said if he was racing in 2015, he would not do it again because he does not think you have to but added he would probably do it again if he is taken back to 1995 when doping was completely pervasive. Armstrong remarked he would want to change the man that did those things, maybe not the decision, but the way he acted and added the way he treated people, the way he couldn’t stop fighting and went on to add that it was unacceptable and inexcusable. The former cyclist also expressed a desire for forgiveness from the public and remarked he is hopeful that he is getting close to that time when his life in public might return to normal. Armstrong also remarked that he believes he should still be considered a seven-time winner of Tour de France.

Armstrong also criticized Brian Cookson, the present president of the world governing body of cycling. The ex-cyclist said the decisions to “rush” through the request of Team Sky for Chris Froome to get emergency steroid treatment after the prologue of the Tour de Romandie and handling of the Astana doping affair by Cookson depict failures to signal a new direction at the top of the sport.

Many observers believed that Team Astana will have its WorldTour license revoked by UCI but the world governing body decided against it. Armstrong said he believes Cookson’s hands might have been tied by rules of the UCI.

In another development, former world cycling chief pat McQuaid has remarked that he had’certain sympathy’ with Armstrong. The ex-UCI chief said Armstrong has been harshly treated and very much made a scapegoat and added that there was a ‘witch-hunt’ after the cyclist. McQuaid also remarked that USADA wanted a ‘big name’ and this was the reason why Lance Armstrong was ‘treated differently’ from other cyclists who engaged in doping. The former UCI chief also said USADA made deals with smaller riders so that they can get information about the big riders.

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Sunday 20, Jul 2014

  Anti-Doping Advocate Questions Team Sky Ethics

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Anti-doping advocate and French former professional rider Christophe Bassons has questioned the ethics of Chris Froome and Team Sky.

Bassons also issued a warning that rejection of Lance Armstrong by the cycling community may have dire consequences. The former French professional rider said he does not want to hear that Armstrong has been found hanging from a ceiling, because he thinks it is possible. Bassons, who was nicknamed ‘Mr. Clean’, said he sees comparisons between Team Sky and US Postal Service team. A key adversary of Armstrong, Bassons claims that the use of therapeutic user exemption certificates by Team Sky riders is no different to using the blood-boosting drug, erythropoietin (EPO).

Bassons, speaking in Leeds for promoting his updated autobiography – ‘A Clean Break’ – said it was wrong for Chris Froome to race in Tour de Romandie using a therapeutic user exemption for an asthma medication. Froome was not violating the WADA or UCI rules but Bassons says he believes Team Sky and Froome have been exposed compromising their principles. Bassons remarked doping is about eliminating all obstacles to win a race and added that the fact is Froome has shown his mentality by taking this product, he had a problem, he was ill, and he took this product and he eliminated the obstacle to him winning. The former rider went on to remark that Armstrong said he had been tested 500 times and never tested positive and this is the same mentality guys have got today and they just don’t want to test positive.

Bassons remarked it is not about where the authorities draw the line, because people thinking about that are also only thinking the priority is not to test positive. Bassons said he may see unfavorable comparisons between Team Sky and the US Postal Service team that ‘prospered and dominated’ under the leadership of Lance Armstrong. Bassons, a member of the Festina team that was busted for carrying doping products in a team car just before the start of the 1998 Tour de France, earned the nickname ‘Mr. Clean’ because of his refusal to dope. He got into an infamous confrontation with Armstrong during the race after Bassons remarked the peloton was riddled with drug cheats.

Bassons also remarked Team Sky has definitely gone against a lot of received knowledge in the sport and there were a lot of things we thought weren’t possible and they’ve shown that they are possible. The rider added they have a collective force like US Postal had as they communicate with people like US Postal did and they seem to produce riders who don’t have any muscles and are very powerful.

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said we set out to try to win this race with a British rider and ride clean and we’ve achieved that. Brailsford added we are a clean team, we play by the rules and we are happy that WADA is happy with us and we are happy that the UCI is happy with us.

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Thursday 20, Mar 2014

  Team Sky Drop Sergio Henao

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Team Sky Drop Sergio Henao

Colombian rider Sergio Henao has been withdrawn from racing by Team Sky to conduct further tests after questions over his blood values were provoked by the team’s monthly review.

According to Team Sky, the 26-year-old Henao will be subject to an “altitude research program.” Meanwhile, the rider has been withdrawn from racing for a period of eight weeks that means Henao is unlikely to start the opening Grand Tour of the season, the Giro d’Italia, which begins in Belfast on May 9th. A biological passport violation may lead up to a ban of two years for a first-time offense.

Henao, whose younger cousin, Sebastian, joined Team Sky for 2014, was believed to start the Tour de France as a support rider for Chris Froome, the defending champion. Henao was expected to race the Dauphiné Libéré stage race in June and then was believed to make his debut in the Tour in support of the title defense of Froome.

Team Sky Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said our experts had questions about Sergio’s out-of-competition control tests at altitude – tests introduced this winter by the anti-doping authorities and we need to understand these readings better. Brailsford added we contacted the relevant authorities – the UCI (International Cycling Union) and CADF (Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation) – pointed to these readings and asked whether they could give us any insights. The Team Sky principal also remarked we have also taken Sergio out of our race program whilst we get a better understanding of these profiles and his physiology and said we want to do the right thing and we want to be fair and it is important not to jump to conclusions.

Brailsford went on to add that our own understanding is limited by a lack of scientific research into ‘altitude natives’ such as Sergio, who was born at altitude in Rionegro, near Medellín, at an altitude of 7,000 feet and lives & trains in the region outside of the racing season. He also remarked we are commissioning independent scientific research to better understand the effects of prolonged periods at altitude after returning from sea level, specifically on altitude natives and added the independent experts are looking to use WADA-accredited laboratories and Team Sky will make the data and findings available to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI, and the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).

Sir Dave Brailsford also said Sergio will help with this program and we expect him to be out of the race schedule for at least eight weeks and once we have completed our assessment, we’ll decide on the right steps and give a full update.

Team Sky’s move was supported by the UCI that said we as a matter of principle are supportive of teams pursuing a policy of closely monitoring their athletes. A UCI spokesperson said this is something that has been monitored by the team and this is Team Sky’s own program and that’s very important.

This is the second blood anomaly involving Team Sky after anti-doping disciplinary action was faced by Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, the 2012 Tour of Britain winner, after his blood passport data was found to contain anomalies.

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Wednesday 12, Mar 2014

  Chris Froome Backs Doping Inquiry

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Chris Froome Backs Doping Inquiry

In an interview, the reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome said he backs an inquiry into cycling’s dirty past.

The Team Sky rider said he supports the UCI-sanctioned inquiry into the dirty laundry of cycling. Froome remarked he hopes that anyone who does have anything to contribute would get involved and added he believes that at the end of the day people will be able to say of it and put everything bad about the past behind and stop asking questions about it.

Froome added the current generation of cyclists has an equally arduous task ahead of them to prove to the world that they are riding clean. He remarked it is a challenge for the new generation of cyclists to be able to show people that the sport really has turned around — and that doping is not something that’s done any more. He also said the pressure falls on us now and it is our burden but it does fall on us to tell people that the sport is no longer how it used to be.

A few months back, the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) was created by the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) — Brian Cookson — with the vision of investigating both historic doping in cycling and allegations that the world governing body of cycling had been involved in previous wrongdoing.

Cookson said at that time we can all agree that the Lance Armstrong affair has done immense damage to our sport and added Armstrong wants to be first through the door when the Commission is up and running and he as the UCI President urge him and anyone else to participate.

Froome also said he would not be participating in the Milano-Sanremo as originally planned after organizers were forced to remove the Pompeiana climb due to poor road conditions. Milano-Sanremo takes place March 23.

Team Sky officials revealed that Froome will not be racing Milan-Sanremo because of the change of course and will instead be racing Volta a Catalunya (March 23-29) following Tirreno-Adriatico (March 12-18). Recently, many teams are juggling their rosters for Milano-Sanremo after it was announced that Pompeiana climb’s introduction would be delayed until 2015. Sandwiched between the Cipressa and Poggio, the climb, tilted the race toward climbers and away from sprinters.

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) both have changed their schedules to start the longest classic of the season while others decided not to change their plans. Cavendish will also contest Gent-Wevelgem, Driedaagse van De Panne (Three Day s of De Panne), and Scheldeprijs. According to Giant-Shimano officials, John Degenkolb remains the team’s captain for the Italian classic and Marcel Kittel will not start.

In a press release, Omega Pharma sport and development manager Rolf Aldag said uncertainty about the route of the Sanremo left Mark’s program open until just a few days ago and therefore, after Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico races, Mark will be in the starting lineup for the Milano-Sanremo. Cavendish said he is very happy to be riding in Milano-Sanremo, on the same route where he watched his heroes’ race and win when he was a kid. Cavendish added it will be fun and stimulating to ride on this route, which is making this race the only classics monument for the sprinters.

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Sunday 22, Dec 2013

  Anti-Doping Drive On Track, Says Cycling Legend

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Anti-Doping Drive On Track, Says Cycling Legend

Sean Kelly, legendary Irish cyclist, has remarked it is now impossible to cheat in cycling and this is all due to the fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Kelly, speaking ahead of Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, said such a deceit would never happen again because of the reforms implemented by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport’s governing body. The 57-year-old, who won 193 professional races including seven consecutive editions of the Paris-Nice event in a career that spanned from 1977 to 1994, said products were out there before controls were able to detect them but now he thinks it’s the reverse, with biological passports, you can see if there are any abnormalities. He added it’s impossible to cheat now and he is very confident that those days are over.

Lance Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the United States Anti-Doping Agency accused the cyclist of using banned drugs. The cyclist admitted in January this year of using performance enhancing drugs throughout his career.

Britain’s Chris Froome will bid next year to become the first cyclist to win back-to-back Le Tours since Miguel Indurain won five in a row in the early 1990s. Kelly believes the focus is now to prove dominance that can be attained without drugs. He remarked we cannot go back to a situation like we had in the past because that would be the death of the sport and now things are looking good, everybody is more confident and sponsors are coming back in and we have to keep on this road.

Kelly went on to add that innocent people have been branded as cheats, and it’s not right and that’s where he thinks the UCI really has to look at clarifying the difference between substances and categorizing them. Kelly, a veteran of 193 race wins, twice tested positive for banned substances during his career but claimed both instances were due to “minor and stupid” accidental intakes. He remarked you can’t just point the finger at Armstrong as there was an era of 15 to 20 years where doping grew and a lot of big names were taken out.

Kelly said the top five cyclists in his time were on good money, but now you can have an eight-year career, win five races and be made for life. He also remarked more pressure comes from greater salaries and sponsors wanted to get more exposure and teams all wanted a slice of the cake because they had to survive but that doesn’t mean you have to go to drugs. Kelly added you can have a good sport without it and riders just go a little bit slower, the race isn’t as fast and aggressive, but the racing is still as good and we’ve seen that over the past couple of years. He also said many of the guys want to take it forward now and make it a clean sport and it was a problem at its height and many just wanted to get out of that scene and it went on for far too long.

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Monday 02, Dec 2013

  Chris Froome Welcomes Tougher Doping Penalties

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Chris Froome Welcomes Tougher Doping Penalties

Chris Froome has welcomed tougher doping penalties and said he has been personally hit hard by claims of cheating. The Tour de France 2013 champion said cycling was now a much cleaner sport than it was during the notorious Lance Armstrong era.

Speaking at the end of a private visit to Kenya, Froome said to reporters that it is great that the World Anti-Doping Agency plans to extend the ban from two to four years, and that cycling is being taken as leading the way in the fight in anti-doping. He added when first-time offenders are given a four-year ban, that’s quite serious for a sport when the window is very short. Chris Froome added you can only be a professional for 15 years and it is a harsh penalty and that’s what we need to see in cycling.

The Team Sky rider added that he has no sympathy for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong but hopes that the now-banned rider will be given a chance to testify at any future inquiry into doping in professional cycling. Froome said there is still so much that needs to be explained, needs to be elaborated on in order for everyone to be able to put this story to bed and, finally, move on from this and there is still a lot of good that can be done through what Armstrong has to say and he thinks it would eventually put an end to that story and allow the rest of us to carry on with our careers. The British rider added it would be really good for the sport to know exactly what was happening at those times so that we can learn and move on from that and he doesn’t think it’s good for the current situation of the sport to be lingering on what’s happened in the past. Froome also said that he would want to see him come forward and really tell it like it is and say exactly what happened so that we can put the story to bed and it happened more than a decade ago and we need to stop talking about it now.

In another development, a new book Inside Team Sky has claimed that Sir Bradley Wiggins snubbed Team Sky colleague Chris Froome after he won last year’s Tour de France by splitting his prize money with all his other teammates, excluding Froome. In his book, Sunday Times chief sports writer David Walsh said that Wiggins eventually paid Froome the money during the week of this year’s World Championships in Florence, and on the insistence of team principal, Sir Dave Brailsford. Froome was runner-up to Wiggins in the race that would have netted him €200,000, but the tradition of Tour de France dictates that overall winner shares his prize money with all the riders who help him win. Wiggins and Froome were struggling with tension in the second half of the 2012 Tour de France after Froome appeared to attack Wiggins, his team leader, on Stage 11 to La Toussuire-Les-Sybelles. This incident sparked a row on Twitter between Wiggins’ wife Cath, and Froome’s now fiancée, Michelle Cound.

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Monday 22, Jul 2013

  Chris Froome Wins Tour De France 2013

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Chris Froome Wins Tour De France 2013

Christopher Froome, the Kenyan-born British professional road racing cyclist who rides for UCI ProTeam Team Sky, has won the Tour de France 2013. Froome became the hot favorite to bring home the honors after Bradley Wiggins pulled out of this year’s race through injury.

Froome vowed his victory wouldn’t be stripped for doping as were of Lance Armstrong and added that this is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time. The rider said he has also believed in people who have turned out to be cheats and liars but assured everyone that he is not a cheat. Chris Froome had to ride through a barrage of doubt and skepticism, especially since his strength in the mountains and time trials reminded some cycling lovers of Armstrong and the way he and his team used to suffocate the race.

Froome hugged his Team Sky manager Chris Brailsford first and the pair were very close to tears. The rider toasted his Team Sky colleagues in an accompanying car and remarked it is difficult for him to put it into words and the race has been a fight every single day. The British rider who dominated rivals over three weeks on the road became the second British in succession to win the Tour after Bradley Wiggins in 2012. He dedicated his victory to his late mother, Jane, who died in 2008 and remarked he would probably be at home watching on TV without her encouragement to follow his dreams.

After this win, Froome remarked to win the 100th edition is an honor beyond any he had dreamed and the rider was soon joined by five-time winners Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain on the podium. Olympic gold medalist Victoria Pendleton praised the efforts of Chris Froome, calling him an “absolutely phenomenal athlete”.

Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, and Joaquim Rodriguez — who were the 100th edition’s podium finisher — have never failed a drug test or been directly implicated in any of cycling doping scandals, a notable departure both from the Armstrong era.

Froome turned professional in 2007 at the age of 22 with Team Konica Minolta and moved to Team Sky in 2010. In October 2009, Froome represented England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in Delhi, coming fifth in the time trial. He made his breakthrough as a Grand Tour contender during the 2011 Vuelta a España where he finished second overall. At the 2012 Tour de France, Froome riding as a domestique for Bradley Wiggins, won stage seven that culminated on a steep uphill finish and finished second overall, behind only the win of Bradley Wiggins in the same race as the best British performance in the history of Tour de France. Froome also won the bronze medal in the time trial event at the Olympic Games and finished fourth in the Vuelta a España in 2012. The rider’s first stage race win came in 2013, in the Tour of Oman, followed by wins in the Criterium International, the Tour de Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné, and the Tour de France.

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