• Dave Brailsford and Chris Froome on Team Sky's rest day ride at the 2018 Tour de France (Getty)Source: Getty
Dave Brailsford told The Guardian "It was never my intention to criticise the entire French nation," when he said "spitting was a French cultural thing."
Cycling Central

The Guardian
27 Jul 2018 - 7:31 AM  UPDATED 27 Jul 2018 - 7:38 AM

Brailsford claims roadside abuse 'a French thing'
Team Principal for Team Sky Sir Dave Brailsford hit out at at the French public and race organisers over the wave of physical and verbal abuse received by team and staff members during the race.

But the Team Sky principal still singled out the unique nature of the Tour de France regarding the treatment his team is receiving.  

“I’m a Francophile," he told The Guardian  on the Col du Portet after Stage 17. "I think anybody who knows me knows that wasn’t my intention but I was pretty agitated about the attention we were getting.

“Of course, I don’t believe that spitting is a French cultural thing, but my point was that we only get that kind of thing at the Tour de France.”

The apology comes after Brailsford said at the team's rest day conference spitting on Sky and its staff "it's like a French cultural thing really, isn't it?" 

"We raced in Italy and Chris's (Froome) case was open when we were at the Tour of Italy and the Italians were fantastic, to be fair to them. The Spanish, fantastic. It just seems to be a French thing."

“That's it. I'm not sure that they would have liked their football players spat at in Russia. I'm sure that there would be a word or two about that. But it's okay to spit on us and our staff."

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Team Sky are in the Tour hot seat with Geraint Thomas in yellow and Chris Froome third overall with just two race days remaining before Sunday's procession to Paris.

The team attracted further controversy during this year's race after Gianni Moscon was ejected for slapping a fellow rider during Stage 15. 

Like he did at the rest day conference, Brailsford again refused to talk about this incident with The Guardian

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