A day after Chris Froome reported that he had been doused with urine by a spectator, six gendarmes were deployed to keep vigil outside the Team Sky bus ahead of stage 15 of the Tour de France in Mende. The pervading atmosphere of distrust at this Tour in microcosm.
Froome’s day passed without incident, as he faced no attacks from the roadside or from his overall rivals, but there would be further tension at the end of the stage in Valence, as he faced the Tour’s press corps, 24 hours after employing a flexible brand of logic to blame them for the urine-throwing incident.
As has become his habit on this Tour, Froome again delivered an unprompted initial statement immediately on taking his seat, taking care to describe the roadside support as “fantastic.” Once the floor was opened to questions, however, it was put to Froome that the presence of policemen outside his bus brought back memories of the security detail assigned to Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team.
“It’s not for me to say what security is needed,” Froome said. “It’s the race organisation that puts on the events. It’s their responsibility to keep the riders safe. I’m obviously not involved in coordinating where police stand and all that. I’m sure you can ask the question to the race organisation.