PARIS (AFP) - Chris Froome’s Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford said on Sunday he was proud of the Tour de France winner and insisted he is riding clean.
Froome has suffered accusations of cheating not just during this Tour but since his last victory at the Grand Boucle two years ago.
The accusations helped create a hostile atmosphere towards the 30-year-old, as well as Sky during the Tour, in which the team leader had urine thrown at him, Richie Porte was punched and several riders were spat at and insulted.
But Brailsford reiterated his insistence that Froome has nothing to hide.
“I’ve been doing this for 15-16 years now (with British Cycling), we won a lot of Olympic medals and used the same methodology to come to Sky and create Team Sky and the same methodology worked again, so you can believe in us,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’re a clean team, we ride clean, Chris is a clean rider and everybody can have 100 per cent faith in what we do.”
And Brailsford said despite those unpleasant incidents, it had not detracted from his enjoyment of leading a British rider to victory in France’s biggest yearly event.
“There’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed but the majority of people, 99.9 per cent of people have been fantastic and it’s just great to be here,” added Brailsford.
“We’ve been able, when the race first came into town (Paris), to ride up the Champs Elysees with the Union Jack hanging out of the car and with another British victory in the Tour de France, it makes it all worthwhile.”
On the winner’s rostrum, Froome named each of his teammates individually before assuring the watching public: “The yellow jersey is very special, I will always respect it and I will always be proud to wear it.”
Nairo Quintana finished second to Froome for the second time after 2013 but insisted he was happy with his result and that the Briton was a worthy winner.
“I’m not disappointed at all, I’ve confirmed my ability and my status within the team, who helped me so much,” said Movistar’s Quintana.
“I’m only 25 so I have many more opportunities to try to win the Tour.
“(Froome) is a great rival, he suffered a lot for his victory and was very strong – he deserves it.”
Andre Greipel won the final stage on the Champs Elysees to make it four this year and 10 in total.
But the Lotto-Soudal sprinter said this one was the most important.
“I would say it’s the biggest success of my career: it’s the sprinter capital of cycling,” said the 33-year-old German about the Champs Elysees finale to the Tour.
“I tried now for four years and this year it was possible with the team’s support.
“All my family and trainers involved in my career are part of this success.
“All the work paid off and the whole Tour de France was just a success.
“The team was dedicated to me to make the sprints possible. We’ve been the dominating team with everybody involved.”
He added: “We won’t celebrate with water, I think!”