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Prudhomme: Chris Froome is like Paula Radcliffe on a bike

Jean-François Quénet
July 8, 2013, 08:59,
July 8, 2013, 10:00
Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 8, 2013
Tour de France
Christian Prudhomme in Marseille

Christian Prudhomme in Marseille

  • Christian Prudhomme in Marseille
  • Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme
  • Tour de France leader Chris Froome (Sky) had no teammates with him for much of stage 9
  • Nairo Quintana (Movistar) animated stage 8, the Tour's first day in the Pyrenees

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Tour de France director on the first week, TV audiences, Sky domination

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme was happy to be proven mistaken for his pre-race predictions as stage 9 put an end to the apparent domination of Team Sky.

"When I was questioned about the duel between Chris Froome and Alberto Contador before the Tour, I always answered: it'll be Sky versus the rest of the world, but I was wrong," Prudhomme told Cyclingnews in Bagnères-de-Bigorre. "It's Froome versus the rest of the world. Some people might have thought the race for GC was over after Froome's demonstration of force at Ax-3 Domaines. We've seen today that everything remains possible. It's not over."

"Frankly, I didn't imagine Froome to be left alone and Richie Porte to finish at 18 minutes, even though he probably gave up chasing at the end," the Frenchman continued. "Contrary to some comments, Team Sky is not something like US Postal. Like yesterday, Porte is their second rider on the finishing line, but in the teams' classification today, Sky is sixteenth at forty minutes! It says it all. I'm cautious about immediate analysis. I can see that the heat has extremely damaged the organism of many riders who had suffered cold, snow, rain and wind during the whole spring and get caught by opposite conditions since the beginning of the Tour de France."

From the organizer's point of view, he drew positive conclusions from the first third of the event. "In almost ten years at ASO, I never heard as many ‘thank you's' as in Corsica for bringing the Tour," Prudhomme summed up. "The race has been fantastically welcomed on the island and it has delivered the exceptional images that we expected. TV audiences are remarkable and beyond expectations worldwide. On France Televisions, it's more than 700 000 viewers more than last year daily during the first ten days. It's almost at the level of the end of the race last year and it usually goes up as we move towards the end of the event."

"I've enjoyed seeing the world's four best sprinters winning a stage each: Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish, André Greipel and Peter Sagan all deserved to score. It proves once again that the Tour de France is worth a classic every day and it's the case again with Dan Martin who is the winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège this year. I have also enjoyed Nairo Quintana's attack in the col de Pailhères. Up to now, this climb had not impacted the race even though it's a very hard one, but yesterday, the favourites have used it to fight each other."

Prudhomme is looking forward to the next big things: Wednesday's scenic time trial from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel and the Mont Ventoux at the end of the second week. Questioned by a French reporter about Froome's look, he said: "The award for the most elegant rider doesn't exist at the Tour de France anymore but Froome probably wouldn't have been eligible. He's a kind of Paula Radcliffe [world record holder in the marathon] on a bike! The Brits love her, don't they? However, I find Froome very elegant in his way of speaking with a sweet voice and his eyes are very expressive."

trevorho More than 1 year ago
:-) Froome may not be the most elegant, but he's the most eloquent. I think everybody (including Team Sky) can now stop comparing Team Sky to US Postal.
metsusna More than 1 year ago
That's exactly what Team Sky hoped we would believe! Porte, Kennauge will again amaze before it's over.
argyllflyer More than 1 year ago
Deliberate tactic eh? Trollalol.
vrusimov More than 1 year ago
When we stop seeing what we saw at AX3 then we might be able to suspend disbelief!
Chris Todgers More than 1 year ago
the more miraculous performance was Quintana breaking away from the entire peloton and forming a 1 minute lead on the penultimate climb and onto AX3 climb. he was only caught back from his unbelievable solo breakaway with 5k to go and it took the entire sky team to reel him in.
FrogMan More than 1 year ago
exactly the opposite: team sky is the new us postal
Jeff41 More than 1 year ago
Probably is like Paula, and he will have enough time in hand to stop at the side of a mountain for a dump as well !
Fangtastic More than 1 year ago
Read the coments in expectation of a dump related joke ;)
optica More than 1 year ago
He is becoming a great ambassador for the sport. I just hope he doesn't get worn down by comments from all the dopey armchair cynics.
FrogMan More than 1 year ago
great ambassador for the doped sport: 2 years ago froome was a zero, now is god on a bike, pretty strange...
tralala More than 1 year ago
yesturday changed nothing, froome still has 2 mins with 2 tt's coming. it certainly shows the others will fight but not that it's not over, it was a show with no results as andy said
ailsab More than 1 year ago
Yes but he is just a little bit too far out there from everyone else which leads one to believe is there something extra in his drink.
cristi1 More than 1 year ago
Prudhomme sustained Lance and US Postal as well so the history repeats.
danjo007 More than 1 year ago
i dont like him. he is flat out suspect!
ianfra More than 1 year ago
If you knew anything about him you would not have posted your comment.
TheCycleSeen More than 1 year ago
You don't like him, as you've said, and he's winning. I reckon there's a bias there on your opinion. I don't mind Froome and hope the tour remains wide open rather than him walking away with it, but given how much it appears to annoy an element of 'cycling fans' I am enjoying seeing him win. Let's face it, that group don't like Sky and their style and thus don't like Froome leading. As a result there's anti-Sky tinted shades clouding their opinions. They were up in arms on stage eight when he won, yet silent when Dan Martin won a very difficult day on stage 9. (For the record, I've no reason to doubt either of them). As much as it is frustrating to hear some people relentlessly pursue the doping subject, I prefer when they do it without being hypocritical.
vrusimov More than 1 year ago
The problem is Dan Martin doesn't have a chance in heck of winning the tour. His performance is irrelevant, unless of course you mean that non-dopers can excel at the tour ala "see clean cycling does win on stages that don't matter" to the general classification. Where was Martin at AX3?... getting smoked liked all the other also rans that include former tour winners who are just too old to get it done anymore.
longshadow More than 1 year ago
Porte took a dive yesterday. Team orders told him to crack so it takes the "supernatural" heat off of Froome and Sky. Porte, in expectation of a Tour shot next year, relents. Wiggins watches from his bed clutching a bottlel of vodka.
ianfra More than 1 year ago
Is that so Longshadow? Could you tell me the source of your impeccable information. Did you hear the Team Orders? Have you got a recording? I am really interested to know .......
longshadow More than 1 year ago
Brailsford tells the press, "looks like we got a race on our hands." Controlled "speak" from a man hiding his true feelings. It's hard to act like you're worried when you're smiling on the inside like a Cheshire Cat. Careful Monsieur... this is when mistakes are made.
ianfra More than 1 year ago
Still unable to answer my direct question Longshadow? Shame you hate this sport so much. Shame on you for calling people liars without evidence. Tell me .... would you go into a roomful of Sky riders and call them dopers, liars and cheats? Come on answer the questions. In Thailand we would call you a 'Kwai'.
cthenn More than 1 year ago
I agree with you longshadow
wrinklyvet More than 1 year ago
That makes you a pair of comedians then
Chainstay99 More than 1 year ago
Based on your post I can tell you are also a doper. Dopers make those kind of posts
mkubota1 More than 1 year ago
I share the *occasional* skepticism as well. But if it was team orders to turn it down, they over-did it because Kiryienka finished outside of the time cut and is gone.
snoopies78 More than 1 year ago
Is failing to win any other of the grand Tours a tactic too? You guys are insane, next thing you guys will be spouting is Elvis is somehow tied into the whole team sky doping scandel. With the sports history I am willing to keep an open mind to the fact any rider who is much better than the rest could be doping but I'd prefer if people came up with actual evidence. Its funny no matter what happens in the race. Team Sky totally dominate or they implode, or anything inbetween for some people this is just "Evidence" of them cheating, I hope for justice sake those people never sit on any juries. Froome was ear marked back in 2008 as someone with great potential, but probably in the wrong team. So saying he has come from no where is a little off the mark.
cthenn More than 1 year ago
Prudhomme is gonna end up looking like a fool just as LA made Jean Marie Leblanc look foolish. I know Prudhomme can't come out and say Froome is a doper, but hopefully he'll be brought down just as LA was.
wrinklyvet More than 1 year ago
This huge urge to bring him down, as you put it., makes you one of the biggest trolls around, considering the lack of justification for it. Anti-Sky, anti-cycling, anti-British, anti-fairness and anti-decency in internet use. Not much to say in favour of it really.
vrusimov More than 1 year ago
No...he just has an opinion that you find intolerable and insufferable because you know with absolute certainty that Sky and Froome and Porte are all on the level.
kdogg64 More than 1 year ago
Careful, the pro-Sky fans are positive that the team is clean even though they have no idea either. See below. Cheers
Chris Todgers More than 1 year ago
he won't be brought down because he doesnt dope. it amuses me to think of the pain and anguish you 'anti-sky' boys suffer every day seeing your best riders get beat. equally amusing that you've effectively given up on your own riders, and have to resort to a 'hope' that froome might get caught for doping, as you already know that your guys have no other way to win. dream on. i pitty you. try to enjoy the rest of the tour and the master class being given by the clean boys from British Cycling!
Khaled Skah More than 1 year ago
Clean boys of British Cycling Does being british mean that they dont dope? Would you bet your life on that Froome is clean?
5891jonathan More than 1 year ago
"I find Froome very elegant in his way of speaking with a sweet voice and his eyes are very expressive." A budding Bromance?
ailsab More than 1 year ago
Yes and the way he rides he looks like one of those dongle dogs with his head bopping around!
kdayfranceusa More than 1 year ago
With the long history of doping in cycling I understand the scepticism. We have all been let down again and again. But I really prefer (for my own sake, and for my son's sake, who loves cycling) to give riders the benefit of the doubt until caught. Froome appears to me to be a good ambassador for the sport. I enjoy his interviews. It will be interesting to see how he defends the jersey over the next two weeks.
Martin Sandheinrixh More than 1 year ago
Armstrong showed what happens when you give a cyclist the benefit of use investing ten years of your life in miracles.they dont exist.
snoopies78 More than 1 year ago
That was not "benefit of doubt" that was given to Armstrong but complete blindness, the culture within the peloton itself was to protect dopers, let alone the authorities. That culture does not exist any more, the authorities have been shamed into doing everything they can to expose dopers. The cyclists themselves no longer want to protect anyone doping, the whole culture has changed. With the samples stored and retested when new methods become available is a huge deterrent, especially after people witnessed the fact authorites are very much willing to go after people 10 years later. All these factors combined means that this current set of cyclists should be given the benefit of doubt, whilst ensuring that tests and anti-doping measures are at the cutting edge within cycling due to its history.
kdayfranceusa More than 1 year ago
Right on Snoopies. I think you hit the crux of the issue. Well said, thanks.