Now that Chris Froome has won the 2015 Tour, I wait for the inevitable torrent of articles either a) continuing to question his integrity or b) implying that his triumph is somehow invalidated by the fact he was under pressure in the Alps and asserting he was ‘lucky’. To which I say ‘bullshit’. I don’t especially warm to Froome as I do to, say Wiggins, but the fact remains that he hasn’t tested positive and has provided a lot more physiological information than critical ex-riders like Jalabert (doper) or Virenque (doper) ever did.
This year, he was stronger and cleverer in the difficult opening week, hammered the field in the Pyrenees and did enough in the Alps. The fact he was clearly knackered on Alpe D’Huez is a better refutation to the doping allegations than if he’d sailed clear to mark his triumph with some Pantani-esque climb into the gods. If Quintana really wants to win the Tour, he needs to show more than 20 minutes on the last couple of days before Paris. Froome was the best rider on this year’s GC by a mile and won deservedly. Had there been a conventional long time trial, his gap would probably have been more like 4-5 minutes. The so-called purists really have to get off their high horse and reflect on the fact that to win this race in modern times, climbers have to do more than just dance on the pedals for the last 3kms of a HC climb.
Hopefully, Froome will go for the hat trick on 2016; on this year’s evidence, who can stop him unless the other teams are going to be smarter and braver with their tactics? But all the sour grapes on evidence this year have really marred my enjoyment of the race. A fine victory but not a vintage Tour.