Froome calls on skeptical fans to let him ride Tour in peace

David Lappartient is focused on guaranteeing the credibility of cycling

Froome said that he had been cleared of wrongdoing "after nine months of meticulous analysis" of the so-called adverse analytical finding (AAF).

"This is not the first time there has been this (negative) feeling (against the team)", Brailsford said when asked about reports in recent days suggesting Sky may be targeted.

The Tour de France starts on Saturday from nearby Noirmoutier-en-Isle for an epic 21-day slog around France where Froome is favourite to win.

Froome admitted the investigation has "undoubtedly been damaging" but said he is glad to "draw a line in the sand and move on".

Sky team principal Sir Dave Brailsford hailed his star rider for the way he had handled himself. "He won the Giro under those conditions", he said.

"I'm still an asthmatic, that hasn't changed", Froome told Sky Sports News.


"We knew Chris was innocent from the start and it was bad the way this information that should never have been released was leaked".

"But we're all pros, we know how to fuel, we don't need to read online what Sky say they're doing". World Anti-Doping Agency rules state an athlete can be cleared for excessive salbutamol use if he proves it was due to an appropriate therapeutic dosage.

Unlike the team leaders for the other squads, Froome was not interviewed on stage and opted not to stop for the waiting media. "I want to see people encouraging their champion with both feet on the road, keeping quiet when (riders) they don't like ride past them".

BBC Sport published a large tranche of data released by the team relating to Froome's preparation for the stage, and his refuelling plan and power output during it. "At any football game, when the opposing team arrives, or in a basketball venue when a shooter takes a free throw, or in rugby when a player takes a penalty, we hear the same things".

Tour organisers ASO had chose to ban Froome from the race but the world anti-doping agency and the International Cycling Union delivered a long-awaited verdict on a September 2017 test of the Briton that cleared the 33-year-old's name.

"It's a massive goal for me, trying to target a fifth win here and fourth Grand Tour consecutively and the Giro-Tour double. It's something I've never done before so it's completely unknown to me".

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