• Chris Froome (Team Sky) looks pensive ahead of Stage 11. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Current Tour de France leader and 2013 champion Chris Froome has offered to undergo independent testing to prove he isn't doping in the wake of new accusations arising from his dominant performance in Stage 10.
By
Cycling Central

16 Jul 2015 - 6:24 AM  UPDATED 16 Jul 2015 - 7:53 AM

Froome's powerful surge to the top of La Pierre-Saint-Martin raised cynical eyebrows, forcing disgraced Lance Armstrong to field questions via his Twitter account.

Today, the American, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after admitting to systematic doping through his career, said the criticism being laid at Froome's feet is all his fault.

Froome's Stage 10 dominance and the release of a video purportedly showing his power and heart-rate profile from the key Mont Ventoux stage of the 2013 race - a stage that was central to his overall victory - has reawakened speculation that his impressive performances come from a syringe.

The Team Sky rider, who has already expressed his exasperation at the suggestions, has therefore opened the door to submitting himself to independent analysis.

“I’m open-minded to potentially doing some physiological testing at some point after the Tour,” said Froome.

“There would be some interesting things to come out of it. As a team, we might even learn something from it, but at the moment I’m focused on the race.

“I’ve certainly not planned to just start releasing data into the public. I can see the effects of the supposedly leaked file; it doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t prove one thing or another — that’s pointless," Froome said.

“But if I can find an independent expert to analyse, or an expert from a physiological point of view, I’m open to doing that with someone.”

Froome dismissed the furore around the Ventoux video, especially suggestions that his heart rate of 160 beats per minute (bpm) while attacking was indicative of doping

“I’ve put that data out there myself in my book. I said my maximum heart rate is only 170,” Froome added. “After two weeks of the Tour on Ventoux, it’s quite surprising it’s 160. It’s normally a bit lower than that. That's normal."

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.

Team Sky manager, Dave Brailsford, also played down Froome's victory on Stage 10, arguing that sub-par performances from key rivals made it look more impressive than it was.

“Yesterday, the surprise was the performance of the others, which wasn’t to the level we expected,” he said. “It’s true Chris had a good day, but the others weren’t really on top form.

"We didn’t see a great Contador or Nibali, but [Nairo] Quintana was OK, if not brilliant.”

Meanwhile, Armstrong told Sky Sports News that it was all his fault that Froome was under fire.

“I know what that is like for a guy like Chris to be in the middle of the Tour, to deal with the constant questions, which of course he is, and to be fair and to be honest, a lot of that is my fault,” Armstrong said. 

“I feel bad about that. Whoever is winning the Tour de France in 2015 should not be answering questions about someone who won it 10 or 15 years ago. That’s just not legitimate. That’s just not fair.”

Froome successfully defended his yellow jersey on the mountainous Stage 11 of the Tour, won by Rafal Majka. On current form, and barring any mishaps in the stages to come, the Briton looks to be on target to repeat his 2013 victory. 

Majka solos to a Tour stage victory
Tinkoff-Saxo got the stage win it needed when Rafal Majka broke away for a solo on win the mountainous Stage 11 to Vallée de Saint-Savin at the Tour de France.