Chris Froome took home his first victory at the Giro d’Italia 3 days ago and the cycling world is on fire with debate over Froome’s legacy. Was his final week believable? Should he have started the Giro at all? Will he keep his maglia rosa if his Salbutamol case turns into a ban?
My perspective. No. No. And I hope not.
I’m going to agree with the Badger on this one
Bernard Hinault (the Badger) told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws:
“Froome does not belong on that list”
“He returned a positive test at the Vuelta, and afterwards his B-sample proved positive, so he has used doping and he has to be suspended. He should never have been allowed to start in the Giro.”
“This is all very sad. Froome is not part of the legend of the sport, because what image does he give cycling? He may also start the Tour later. It’s a real scandal. This has to stop.”
Philippa York of CyclingNews on that special final week
Now, despite what anyone says, you don’t ride yourself into form in a brutal three-week race. If you aren’t in good shape at the start, the kicking you get each day adds up and you only become more and more tired. Add a fall – or in Froome’s case two falls – or injury of any kind and your recovery is highly compromised. Hence the comment from Contador that it was over for Sky’s hopes. He saw the signs and understood the situation.
The performance that day was unbelievable in the context it must be viewed in. After all the scandals, from Shane Sutton saying that Team Sky gamed the TUE system, to the stock of Kenalog, Jiffy bags, lost medical records, the DCMS report, UKAD’s investigation, testosterone deliveries, Tramadol use, and a win-at-all-cost culture, Froome’s ride could only lead us to ask questions.
After Lance Armstrong, the Tour organisers probably aren’t willing take such a risk but the Giro has, and we’ve either witnessed a script straight out of Hollywood or we are being taken for mugs again and the story, as it did with Armstrong’s, will appear in an episode of South Park. I just hope it’s not the latter.
Pretty sure Greg Lemond said the same about Lance and look how that turned out, if it’s too good to be true then it probably is…
Will Froome keep his Giro win?
Matt de Neef of Cycling Tips spoke with Jack Anderson, Professor of Sports Law at the University of Melbourne:
It seems to be a very technical argument now about the sensitivity of the test. The precedent on this, from what I can see, is not good for Froome in the sense that the test has been around for quite a long time. So this is going to be a very difficult argument for him to make, I would think.
If I had to guess, I’d say Froome’s days are numbered. But as we’ve seen in the past that number sadly might be quite high.