Froome braces for Tour amid Giro row
Chris Froome’s stunning Giro d’Italia victory should put him among the pantheon of cycling greats but the British rider’s results are likely to remain contentious for a long time, perhaps beyond the Tour de France where he will defend his title.
Ironically, Froome was congratulated on Sunday by former rival Alberto Contador as he stood on the top of the podium in Rome. The parallel between the two riders is obvious — the Briton could suffer the same fate as the Spaniard, who was stripped of his Giro 2011 victory for a positive doping control from the previous year.
The 33-year-old Froome was competing in the gruelling three-week race through Italy despite an ongoing investigation after returning an adverse analytical finding during his Vuelta a Espana win last year.
Froome, whose lawyers have used all sorts of experts to find flaws in the anti-doping test which showed double the level of the asthma drug salbutamol allowed, said during the Giro: “I hope for the fastest decision possible.”
Meanwhile, the Kenyan-born rider said he was preparing for a bid to achieve a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title.
“Obviously the next challenge for me has to be the Tour de France,” he said.
Froome said he plans to take a short break with his wife Michelle, who is pregnant with their second child, before returning to altitude to prepare for the Tour de France, which runs from July 7 to July 29.
A win would give him a fifth title after 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. If he won he would be the first since Marco Pantani in 1998 to achieve a Giro-Tour double in the same calendar year.