Bourg-de-Page - Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford has repeated calls for
greater transparency amid new doping allegations against Tour de France leader
Brailsford was invited onto French television to discuss Froome's power data
as an expert suggested the 30-year-old Briton was not riding cleanly.
Pierre Sallet from the Athletes for Transparency organisation produced a
formula by which he measured Froome's watts per kilogramme output on his climb
to La Pierre-Saint Martin last Tuesday -- the 10th stage which he won.
Sallet calculated that Froome had produced a reading of 7.04 watts per kilo
and said that a 6.5 reading would be normal and anything over 7.0 was
To make matters worse, Sallet claimed that the only people to have recorded
readings over 7.0 were doping cheats like Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich.
However, the French expert failed to either show what their readings were or
compare Froome's reading to his current rivals or his own performances on other
climbs, rendering the study largely meaningless.
But Brailsford faced questions on the 'Stade 2' programme on France
Televisions about the data.
"You have to be careful because it's a mathematical formula. This isn't
the full data, that's not Chris's weight. It's an estimate," said
Brailsford, referring to the 71kg weight used in the study.
Brailsford, who has already called for a power passport to be used alongside
the biological passport, insisted Sky had given all Froome's data to UK
Anti-Doping after he faced similar suspicions following his 2013 Tour victory.
And Brailsford even called for the International Cycling Union (UCI) to
embed doping experts with teams - funded of course by the UCI - to monitor
"I can't prove a negative but I can work with the UCI and independent
experts and try to find a solution," said Brailsford.
"I'm asking the UCI to do it in fact, because it's not right what's
happening. Chris is special, that's for sure. He has a special physiology,
that's for sure. But he doesn't cheat."
Sunday was a relatively calm day for Froome and his fellow overall
contenders as the 15th stage ended in a bunch sprint won by Andre Greipel - the
German's third stage win this year and ninth in total at the Grand Boucle.
Monday's 16th stage ahead of Tuesday's rest day, should also favour a
breakaway or a sprint finish rather than a battle between overall contenders.
The 201km trek from Bourg-de-Peage to Gap includes two second category
climbs, the second peaking 12km before the fast downhill finish.
It perhaps suits a puncher who can get over the 8.9km Col de Manse, which
has an average 5.6 percent gradient, close enough to the leaders to be able to
reach the line in a position to sprint for the win.
Pure sprinters like Greipel or Mark Cavendish have little hope of contesting
the win, while pure climbers such as French pair Romain Bardet and Thibaut
Pinto are unlikely to be able to drop faster finishers on such a slope.