• Chris Froome, Tejay van Garderen and Nairo Quintana switch the power on in the Pyrenees during Stage 10 of the Tour de France (AFP)Source: AFP
After launching the biological passport to fight against doping, cycling should create a power profile for every rider, according to French coach Frederic Grappe.
15 Jul 2015 - 9:51 AM 

Speaking ahead of the Stage 10 start at the Tour de France, Grappe, the FDJ team performance director, explained that the riders' power data should be stored, protected and analysed by experts in order to detect suspicious variations.

Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford said on Monday he believed Chris Froome's performance data has been hacked by critics who accuse him of doping.

Those critics become louder still after Froome put in a dominant display on the first serious climb of this year’s race to win Stage 10 atop La Pierre-Saint-Martin.

Question time
Doping clouds rain questions on Froome as Lance chimes in
It was always going to happen. Not long after Chris Froome’s imperious climb to victory atop the summit of La Pierre-Saint-Martin on Stage 10 of the Tour de France, the question marks over his staggering performance began appearing like the dark clouds of a rolling storm.

Power data estimates have been widely used by experts, some of whom Froome has labelled "clowns". Brailsford calls it "pseudo-science" to show a rider is cheating.

One of them, Antoine Vayer, a former coach at the infamous Festina team, believes that beyond a certain barrier doping is inevitable.

Teams use power data metres to assess their riders' performance.

"The power data we have, it's confidential, because they belong to the riders, they belong to the teams," Grappe said.

"What is the point in publishing the power data because who is able to analyse it correctly? Very few people because there are so many factors to take into account - the weather, the length of the effort.

"Some, and I won't name them, are all wrong with it."

Grappe's idea is to have the data looked into by those who have the expertise, in the same way riders' blood data has been analysed by experts to detect doping with the biological passport since 2008.

"I want the riders' power data to be stored in a server. We've been discussing it with the ISSUL (Institute of Sports Science of the University of Lausanne). I'm ready to do it," said Grappe.

"A special commission with experts would analyse the data. I'm for establishing a power profile for every rider in the peloton. It does not cost anything.

"If your power metre is well calibrated you have landmarks – the guy who has a well-established profile and beats his record by 10 per cent – you know something is wrong."

Power estimates were hotly debated at the 2013 Tour de France when Froome's brutal acceleration in the ascent to the Mont Ventoux finish caused controversy at the race and set him up for his first Tour de France triumph.

Two years later, it appears the same discussion is back on the table as some suspicious eyes roll at Froome’s latest effort.

Froome himself maintained his composure in the face of some tough questioning after his victory overnight.

"It doesn't make me angry," he said. "It would be a different story if I had something to hide. I know I'm a clean rider. I know I've worked extremely hard to be in this position. I'm really proud of that.”

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