There’s a sentence from Chris Froome that sums up his Tour victory perfectly. ‘This is a yellow jersey that will stand the test of time,’ our new champion told the crowds on the Champs-Elysees, a final reference to the Armstrong legacy that has haunted this year’s race.
Everyone agreed that winning the 100th Tour was going to be a daunting prospect, with every exceptional performance exposed to intense scrutiny. During the past three and a half weeks Frome has been fighting a daily battle against a barrage of doping questions and cynicism as the mass media struggled to accept any athlete who is clearly better than all others.
During Armstrong’s reign, with only a few notable exceptions, was there an appetite to question any of the frequent, dubious performances. Once upon a time nobody would ask the doping question – now they just can’t stop.
Eventually Team Sky cracked and handed Frooome’s performance data to L’Equipe. The French sports newspaper did not publish the dossier in full but instead had it analysed by a leading sports physiologist who gave our man the thumbs up. Froome’s performances were deemed to be ‘coherent’ and his two big summit mount ain victories ‘were to be expected.’ The report concludes that Froome’s profile has not changed in the last two years.
Now the French believe. Here is a champion who will not need to written out of the record books in years to come. Froome is here, he’s here to stay.
This article was first published in the July 25 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!