Tour de France leader Chris Froome’s Sky team tried on Tuesday to quash speculation their chief is cheating. Sky said they had shared “a billion points of data” with the UK Anti-Doping Agency.
The move came after a week of constant doping speculation and accusations thrown at the 30-year-old Tour leader since his stage 10 victory up to La Pierre-Saint Martin in the Pyrenees mountains a week ago.
A few days after that success, state broadcaster France Teacute;leacute;visions produced a study by their own expert into the amount of power generated by Froome on his climb to La Pierre-Saint Martin.
The study, looking at Froome’s power-to-weight ratio, claimed he had produced an effort of 7.04 watts per kilogramme.
The higher that ratio, the faster a rider will climb and the higher doping speculations will grow.
But Sky’s own expert produced his figures and claimed Froome’s true watts per kilo translated to a figure of 5.78.
French expert Pierre Sallet from the Athletes for Transparency organisation claimed on France 2’s ‘Stade 2’ programme that a normal figure should be 6.5 and that anything over 7.0 was abnormal and had only been recorded in doped riders such as disgraced pair Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich.
A 7.04 figure for Froome would have suggested he was also doped.
Froome himself said he would not let, and indeed has not let, the bad publicity affect his performances.
But he did admit to being frustrated at the difference in treatment he receives compared to his rivals.
“Obviously we seem to cop a lot of speculation and a lot of doubts around our performances,” he said. “Why aren’t those same level of doubts cast upon similar performances of other general classification contenders? Why only us?”