BRITAIN’S Chris Froome has distanced himself from comparisons with tainted seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and reiterated that his own quest for the yellow jersey has not been fuelled by doping.
Froome leads his nearest rivals by more than four minutes and is expected to clinch a first Tour title in Paris on Sunday, but has had to battle suspicion about Team Sky’s success and cycling in general.
The Kenya-born 28-year-old yesterday rejected claims that he was “honoured” to be compared to Armstrong, who was stripped of his titles last year and has since admitted to systematic doping.
“I wouldn’t say I was honoured. Lance won those races but Lance cheated, I’m not cheating. End of story,” said Froome, who won Sunday’s taxing 15th stage on Mont Ventoux in Provence.
“I think it’s sad that we’re sitting here the day after the biggest victory of my life talking about doping. My team-mates and I have slept on volcanoes to get ready for this, we’ve been away from home for months, training together, working our arses off, and here I am, being accused of being a cheat and a liar and that’s not cool.”
Boss Dave Brailsford has offered to share all of Team Sky’s internal biometric and performance data with anti-doping inspectors in a bid to prove their innocence. “They’ve got all our bloods anyway,” he said. “They can have power data, weight, where we’re training, what we’re doing. Quite happy to do that.”
The Tour resumes today with a climb-heavy 168km stage from Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap.