Team Sky release Chris Froome’s performance data

Figures from stage 10 victory released but cyclist unsure doubters are convinced

Team Sky rider Chris Froome had his performance data revealed for his stage 10 Tour de France victory. Photograph: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Team Sky rider Chris Froome had his performance data revealed for his stage 10 Tour de France victory. Photograph: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

 

The Tour de France leader Chris Froome is uncertain if Team Sky disclosing performance data from his much-discussed win at La Pierre-Saint-Martin will convince everyone of the legitimacy of his performances.

The 30-year-old Team Sky leader has an advantage of three minutes and 10 seconds from the Movistar rider Nairo Quintana with five stages remaining, four of them in the Alps where the yellow jersey will be won. The race finishes in Paris on Sunday.

The 2013 champion has been subjected to innuendo and interrogations over his dominant win in the first Pyrenees stage last Tuesday, with the host broadcaster France 2 among those to seek expert analysis, but he insists he races clean.

The clamour for Froome’s actual figures led to the Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford inviting head of performance Tim Kerrison to reveal the real numbers behind the display on the race’s second rest day.

Froome said: “I’m not sure if numbers are going to fix everything, but certainly I feel as a team and myself, we’re definitely trying to be as open and transparent as possible.

“We’ve been asked more questions than any other team. I’ve been asked more questions than any other GC [general classification] contender. I’d like to think we’re answering those questions.

“I really am focused on the racing side of things. I’ve worked too long to let anything throw me off. That’s all just happening on the side.”

Brailsford insisted performance data would not be released every time Froome beat the field and expects the furore not to detract from the Kenya-born Briton’s desire to win the yellow jersey this week.

Brailsford added: “We’re here to race and racing’s a human endeavour. It’s not a set of numbers on a spreadsheet, it’s not a power meter. It’s about racing.

“There’s a human aspect to it. That’s why we all love bike racing. And we’re going to go out and try to win this bike race.

“I’m sure if Chris feels that he can attack and he could go and leave everybody behind, it would be a travesty, I think, if he had any doubt in his mind thinking: ‘Oh, I better not’. And he knows he won’t.

“That’s what we should do: continue to race in a clean and pure fashion.”Team Sky understand why questions are being asked, due to cycling’s drug-riddled past. Froome won the 100th Tour and first since Lance Armstrong was exposed as a drug cheat and stripped of his record seven titles.

Now the scrutiny has returned in the 102nd Tour, with Brailsford determined to convince a sceptical media and public.

“We all know this sport has got a difficult past which takes away trust,” Brailsford said.

“Immediately after that past was exposed to the extent that it was, that trust is going to be at its lowest.

“We’ve got to try to regain trust. Every time there’s a great performance, people are going to ask themselves, ‘Can I believe in that performance or can’t I?’

“Our job is to demonstrate that you can believe in it.

“Yes, there might be a bit of a challenge along the way, but I think it’s a battle worth fighting, because we all love the sport and we want to demonstrate that you can win the biggest bike races in the world clean, which is what we’re continuing to do.”

Froome described it as a “normal week of racing at the office on the Tour de France”, but it has been an extraordinary one.

Brailsford was taken aback when he appeared on France 2 on Sunday evening and was shown a video of Pierre Sallet, a doctor of physiology, calculating Froome’s power in watts per kilogram on La Pierre-Saint-Martin.

Sallet made a calculation of 7.04 watts per kilogram, which he claimed was an “abnormally high profile” and Brailsford said was “wildly wrong”.

That prompted Brailsford’s decision to disclose the actual figures, with Kerrison revealing Froome’s reading to be 5.78 watts per kilogram.

“I wasn’t aware of it (the Sallet video). It did take me a bit by surprise,” Brailsford added.

“I asked Tim to present a bit of data today to put to bed some of the numbers that they came up with, because they were wildly wrong.

“I do think in this day and age in the sport of cycling people do have to be responsible.

“If you are going to present something on television, to a nation, then you do have an obligation to get your facts right. It was a bit disappointing.

“What France 2 did, putting out that headline - seven watts per kilo, a picture of Lance Armstrong and a picture of (Jan) Ullrich - that was so wildly wrong on so many levels that we thought we should just correct that and give the concrete facts and give the evidence so hopefully people could judge for themselves.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.