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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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Bernard Hinault says Chris Froome should not have been allowed to ride
Giro d'Italia

Alasdair Fotheringham summed things up in an article in The Independent:

The controversy surrounding Chris Froome’s breakthrough victory in the Giro d’Italia continues to grind on as five-times Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault said that Froome should not have taken part in the race, let alone win it.

After his victory in Rome on Sunday, Froome has joined Hinault as one of the seven riders ever to win all three Grand Tours – the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España – in their careers and one of just three riders, together with Hinault and Eddy Merckx, to win all three in succession.

But speaking to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, Hinault – one of cycling’s most outstanding racers – argued, “he should not be in that list. He should never have been allowed to start the Giro.”

Hinault was referring to Froome’s failed test for salbutamol, an anti-asthma drug for which the 33-year-old Briton returned a level nearly twice the permitted upper threshold, during the Vuelta a España, which Froome won, last September.

Bernard Hinault

Bernard Hinault at the 2016 Tour de France

Froome and Team Sky have repeatedly refuted any suggestion of wrongdoing and Froome has expressed confidence that he will be cleared. His lawyers are currently working to prove that he did not exceed the permitted dosage of salbutamol.
Hinault’s hostile comments contrast with his urging Froome to tackle the 2018 Giro last year – before the salbutamol case was leaked. They also clash with Merckx’s observations last weekend he had “no problem” with Froome winning the Giro d’Italia whatsoever.

But the two champions’ opposing points of view accurately reflect how seriously this case has divided cycling between those backing Froome and those against.

You can read the entire article here.

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary