'Crazy' for Sky to reveal all data

Team Sky rider Chris Froome (centre) fears that only public release of all his training and racing data will satisfy doubters.
Team Sky rider Chris Froome (centre) fears that only public release of all his training and racing data will satisfy doubters.PHOTO: REUTERS

Froome feels that even if team do so, some critics will still not alter their opinion of him

PRA LOUP (France) • Chris Froome fears that only public release of every bit of his training and racing data will satisfy some of his doubters at cycling's Tour de France. But he says Team Sky would be "crazy" to hand over all their secrets.

After taking the unusual move on Tuesday's rest day to release Froome's power output in the key climb to La Pierre-Saint-Martin in stage 10, Sky found fresh questioning about the numbers, including scepticism of whether his weight was truly 67.5kg.

Froome said he had not followed all the reactions but, after protecting his lead over stage 17 in the Alps on Wednesday, he noted: "I'd imagine it's going to be never-ending.

"The data will never be enough.

"There are a lot of people out there who have already made up their minds and no matter what information we release or make public, that's not going to change their opinions."

The Sky leader, who plans to undergo independent physiological testing after the Tour, said the only way to satisfy people would be to hand over his power output from every ride.

"If people want to truly understand what I'm capable of doing on a bike, they'd have to have all my power data, all my training files, all my racing files to see what I'm capable of doing and why I can do what I'm able to do," he added.

"For Team Sky, that's our competitive advantage. That intellectual property would mean giving away our training programmes. Guys like Tim Kerrison (Sky's head of performance) have spent years developing these programmes. To just give it away to other teams... it's crazy for us just to give it away.

"The team has made it perfectly clear that they're happy to surrender all the power data, everything, to the right independent bodies.

"If Wada, for example, the UCI... wanted to collect that information, the team would be very happy to give it to them, on the basis that all other teams did the same."

The need for the International Cycling Union (UCI) to step into this area, monitoring riders' output and verifying what is credible, has grown with urgency during this Tour. But the world governing body has come in for mounting criticism for failing to intervene.

Dave Brailsford, the Sky principal, has already criticised the UCI as too passive. Marc Madiot, the general manager of the FDJ team, was more outspoken on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, whenever there's a problem in cycling, the UCI is nowhere to be seen," he said.

He singled out Brian Cookson, accusing the UCI president of disappearing in a crisis.

"I expected more from Brian Cookson, who promised upon being elected to restore credibility and I still expect more from a UCI president when there are problems to be solved," Madiot said.

Without independent scrutiny of power numbers, and the ability to chart a rider's progression and check for suspicious improvements, as with the biological passport, Froome says the arguments will continue to rage.

THE TIMES, LONDON

TOUR DE FRANCE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2015, with the headline ''Crazy' for Sky to reveal all data'. Print Edition | Subscribe