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Chris Froome: Giro d'Italia win's validity should not be questioned

Chris Froome

Chris Froome says there should be “no question at all” about the validity of his Giro d’Italia success.

Team Sky’s Froome wrapped up his maiden Giro victory on Sunday to become only the third man to hold all three of cycling’s Grand Tours simultaneously.

The 33-year-old Briton is involved in an ongoing anti-doping case after giving an adverse result in a test at last year’s Vuelta a Espana.

But he told the BBC he was tested “every day” of the three-week Giro.

Four-time Tour de France champion Froome has asthma and received permission from cycling chiefs to use legal asthma drug salbutamol at the Vuelta, which he won to become the third man to claim the Tour and the Vuelta in the same year.

However, he was found to have double the allowed level of the drug in his urine.

With cycling’s governing body, the UCI, still investigating and Froome denying any wrongdoing, he competed at the Giro and is the first British man to win the race in its 101-year history.

“There should be no question at all about the validity of the results here,” Froome told BBC Radio 5 live on Monday.

“I am being tested absolutely every day – before the race and after the race.

“I know from my side, I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong and it’s only a matter of time until that is clear to everybody.

“It’s unfortunate for the sport and its image, but hopefully we’ll get this result as soon as possible. For everyone, that would be the best thing possible. We’re in the middle of that process right now.”

‘This was the hardest victory’

Chris Froome after crashing during practice for the first stage of the Giro d'Italia

Froome is the seventh man to complete a Grand Tour hat-trick, after adding Italian success to his 2017 Vuelta and four Tour de France wins.

In addition, he joins Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault as the only riders to have held cycling’s three most prestigious stage races at the same time.

But he says the Giro was the toughest yet, having skidded out on a reconnaissance lap during the curtain-raising time trial stage in Jerusalem – before another crash on stage eight.

“It’s so much more unpredictable,” Froome said.

“It’s a lot more explosive and, with the risk involved in terms of crashing and missing the right move at the right moment, I think this is the most tricky of the three Grand Tours that we have on our calendar.

“This was the hardest victory for me.”

‘I’ve got no doubt’ – Froome tips Yates for success

Simon Yates and Chris Froome

An extraordinary attack during stage 19 of the Giro led to Froome taking the leader’s pink jersey from fellow Briton Simon Yates, who looked set for a maiden Grand Tour victory having worn the maglia rosa for almost two weeks.

Mitchelton-Scott’s Yates eventually finished 22nd in the general classification, more than an hour behind Froome, but his compatriot believes it will not be long until the 25-year-old wins a Grand Tour.

“Simon rode an incredible race. Obviously he’s a rival of mine and I was trying to beat him, but for two and a half weeks he was on top form and was amazing,” Froome said.

“He had such a strong lead and it really looked as if he was going to win the race. Unfortunately, it was two or three days too much for him – but I’m sure he is going to bounce back.

“I’ve got no doubt he will win one of these big races one day.”

‘I want to be in the best shape possible’ – Froome eyes Tour

Barely 24 hours have passed since Froome’s Giro success was confirmed, yet he is already looking ahead to the next challenge.

The Tour de France begins on 7 July and a fifth victory for Froome would see him draw level with Merckx and Hinault, as well as Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain, at the top of the record books for most wins.

“It’s been a brutal three weeks. As picturesque as it was rolling into Rome on Sunday, the cobbled streets have left their mark on us,” he said.

“I’m going to take two or three days off to relax with my family, but then it’s straight back into training.

“It’s six weeks to the start of the Tour de France, so that’s the big goal now. I want to be in the best shape possible for the start in July.”


BBC Radio 5 live BeSpoke podcast pundit Michael Hutchinson

The way that people view the sport has changed. There is so much cynicism about bike racing in general.

That straightforward heroism is much harder for people to accept, given the sport’s recent history.

In some ways we have had a Schrodinger’s Giro d’Italia – a race that Chris Froome is both winning and not winning.

An enormous amount depends on the salbutamol case. Whether his win is good or bad for cycling as a whole largely comes down to its outcome.

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BBC Sport – Sport

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