Chris Froome's rest day press conferences at his Tour de France victories in 2013 and 2015 were often tense affairs, dominated by the thorny question of whether the yellow jersey would agree to release his power data to allay the suspicion that had greeted his performances. The atmosphere was a little less tempestuous when Froome met the Tour de France media in Hilterfingen on the shores of Lake Thun on Tuesday, despite Greg LeMond's forthright dismissal of Team Sky's 'marginal gains' philosophy in the previous day's edition of L'Equipe.
Team manager Dave Brailsford said that he felt the generally calmer climate on this year's race was thanks in part to the physiological testing undertaken by Froome at the GlaxoSmithKline Human Performance Lab last August.
Froome's data from a similar round of testing in 2007 was provided as point of comparison, but though other Grand Tour contenders have released more detailed information – in 2014 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) published some six years' worth of data, stretching back to his junior days, Brailsford maintained that the GlaxoSmithKline test had been an important step in responding to the suspicions.
"I think it's pretty important what Chris did at the end of last year when he went into the lab and put himself up for testing independently of the team, and I think the numbers told a significant story," Brailsford said. "People certainly aren't asking the same questions as they have done in the past. It's difficult to ask for VAM and power data if you're going downhill and dropping everybody."
Clarification on UCI correspondence
At the beginning of the press conference, Brailsford was asked to clarify a comment he made at Team Sky's last rest day press conference in Andorra, when he said that the team had received an email from the UCI congratulating it on its cooperation with tests for mechanical doping. He said that the message had been sent from UCI technical manager Mark Barfield to Team Sky's head of technical operations Carsten Jeppesen.
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