Transparency & Grand Tour Contenders

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“Whilst cycling recovers from continuing doping controversies and the admission that Lance Armstrong cheated during his career, most notably during the Tour de France, we are in a transition period for the sport. However, we feel there remain areas in which the sport can move forward in repairing previous doubts about riders performances and ensuring that those performances are genuine and honest.

Bike Pure are calling on contenders of major grand tours such as the Tour de France to be more transparent. In an unblemished sporting arena, there should be no reason whatsoever for any athlete to have to convince the public that their performances are genuine, but unfortunately, due to the tarnished history of Tour de France podium finishers in recent years, there is still room for improvement.

We are hoping that current grand tour podium finishers can make more data available within the public domain in order to alleviate any concerns there may be about questionable performances. Of course, it is not a stipulation that riders must produce data but we feel strongly that by doing so would provide serious evidence that the sport is changing.
If podium finishers of grand tours were to provide information such as SRM power data, heart rates and VO2 max it would provide affirmation in the belief that we are entering a new era for the sport. Obviously there may be concerns that rivals could use the information to gauge what condition a rider may be in if released during the event, but releasing such information after an event would go a long way in sending a clear and concise message that performances are genuine.

We often hear riders and teams making statements they are clean and that performances are genuine, but we see little firm evidence to back this up, especially amongst podium finishers of 3 week Tours. It would speak volumes for the sport and also for the riders themselves if we saw more information. This information could also be stored to become a benchmark in years to come to gauge performances and provide a valid means of tackling doping in sport.

We contacted Team Sky’s Chris Froome on this issue some weeks ago, asking if he would be willing to produce his data during or after the Tour. We didn’t receive a direct response however he did pass the email to his team. We received a phone call on 20th June from Fran Millar, Head of Business operations for Team Sky who said Froome wouldn’t be making any of his data public. Bike Pure also asked if Froome would be willing to make data available after the Tour and we have not received a response as yet.

Many will know that Froome aligned with our organisation some years ago whilst riding for Team Barloworld. We have asked for clarification from Chris on a number of occasions in the last 18 months via email and direct message on Twitter if he still wished to form part of our organisation. As a result of not receiving such clarification from Chris or Team Sky in recent days we have made the difficult decision to remove his bio page from our website. This in no way insinuates that Froome is a suspicious rider but we feel that if riders do not support our organisation then there is no reason for us to promote them as such.

For those who ask ‘Why should riders release their data?’, our reply would simply be ‘Why wouldn’t you?’. World opinion is that pro cycling is tainted and as such, many cycling fans have become non believers. Bike Pure are campaigning for more transparency and emphasis on the publication of data which over time, will help bring the non believers back to the sport.

Bike Pure is a not for profit organisation and believes in the principle values of transparency, integrity and fairness in sport.”

Andy Layhe
Co-Founder – Bike Pure

Clarification and update 27th June

We have been accused by a minority of releasing the above statement simply for PR purposes and that Chris was singled out to release data. Therefore we would like to make some points and clarification on the issue. There are two parts to our statement, we had been attempting to get clarification of Chris’ alignment to Bike Pure since Dec 2012 and we also asked if he would be willing to produce data simply because he was our highest profile athlete and potential Tour de France winner.

1. We received a phone call from Michelle Cound, Chris’ girlfriend on Wednesday 26th June. Michelle was clearly disappointed in us releasing a statement and she made it clear that information such as SRM data etc did not belong to Chris but to Team Sky.

2. As Chris was our highest profile rider, grand tour podium finisher and potential Tour de France winner we felt it necessary to contact him to gain written clarification of his alignment to our organisation. We initially did this in December 2012. The email was sent in html format and was opened shortly after it was received. We received no response.

3. Chris, as with many other professional cyclists, followed us on Twitter for a number of years. We made several attempts to contact him via direct message asking to confirm what we had asked in December 2012. We sent 3 direct messages between January and April of 2013. We had no response. Shortly after, Chris chose to unfollow us onTwitter.

4. We felt the correct course of action was to contact his team regarding the issue and completed the contact form on the Team Sky website on two occasions asking for someone to contact us regards the issue. We received an automated reply saying our messages had been received, but we received no direct response from anyone within Team Sky until the call from Fran Millar on Thursday 20th June.

5. We had waited 6 months for clarification and preferred the matter was resolved before the 2013 Tour de France, therefore we set a deadline of Friday 21st June for clarification. We received a call from Fran Millar at Team Sky on Thursday 20th June stating that we had threatened Chris and that Sky would not be releasing any data simply because other teams refuse to do so either. We simply asked for clarification on Chris’ alignment to Bike Pure and stated that a simple statement would resolve the issue. We received none either on the phone or in written email, therefore were left with the difficult decision to remove his bio from our website.

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Comments

  • 1

    DW 22.07.2013 at 10:40pm

    Perhaps it would be appropriate to update this now that Froome/Sky made their data available to a third party with a qualified scientist on its staff? Or will this statement stand simply because they did not make it available to Bike Pure? How does Bike Pure expect to be held as credible vs L'Equipe as a worthy party with which to share data

  • 2

    John 19.07.2013 at 10:04am

    Why should any rider put there data in the public domain? That's like suggesting all engineering comanies put their designs in the public domain; it's sensitive information that can be (ab)used by their competition. I would agree that the data should be made available, but only to independent assessors from e.g. WADA (not the UCI due to their clear history of abusing the rules when they felt like it). The public only needs to know when it's been interpreted as suspicious by experts!

  • 3

    Ist Chris Froome gedopt? – WeiterGen 16.07.2013 at 11:19am

    [...] eine Organisation für ehrlichen Radsport, das Profil von Chris Froome vor der Tour von seiner Seite gelöscht [...]

  • 4

    Richie 15.07.2013 at 10:29pm

    Fair play to you bike pure, data is the way to go and it is gaining some traction in the media. It is after the second rest day in the tour and I looked at roches data from the stage they put froome on the ropes, looking at the data experienced riders can tell you his data is clean, he pulls one or two very high watts but then has small watts for a while (ie he has to actually sit on to recover) . Data reveals all, you are not looking for all data just the right to look at anyone's race data. Riders who show their data have nothing to hide, you are not asking to see their training data (as you would learn how they train from that). Ps. I don't believe in fairy tales any more. Vive le tour

  • 5

    Steve 15.07.2013 at 09:47am

    There has been a lot of Bike Pure bashing in most the comments ive read , its the 15th of july now and the day after Ventoux .Froome is way to fast to be clean judging by his times up Ventoux and 3Aix .I would also like to see porte numbers

  • 6

    Richard 07.07.2013 at 06:43pm

    Ya, I respect what you are trying to do. I believe cycling is cleaner now that it has ever been but I do not believe is the sky fairy tale, seen it before "Discovery". Data would show a lot, I know of some data leading contenders were putting out after 3 hours in the Tour last year and to me it is obvious that these figures are not clean figures.

  • 7

    Michael Johnson 30.06.2013 at 06:31am

    Good article Bike Pure, keep doing what you're doing and the good work too with young riders. Not afraid to ask questions, good work.

  • 8

    David Collins 27.06.2013 at 11:17am

    OK, it's very easy for teams and riders to say they are clean. But it's too easy for anonymous people to come on to sites like this and slander riders and teams (new or historical) with basically no evidence but hearsay and rumour. It degrades the value and purpose of Bike Pure to give space and credence to such cheap and valueless opinions. Let's focus on the facts.

  • 9

    Will 27.06.2013 at 10:31am

    Sky is ahead of the curve in cheating. The team must have chemists working on undetectable PED. Wiggins in 2012 and Froome in 2013 are to dominant. Their performances are mutant. It must be frustrating to clean riders in the peloton.

  • 10

    Sylvester 27.06.2013 at 04:00am

    To be fair to Bike Pure, they did ask Froome for clarification gong back months and he didn't provide. Whats the point in having a rider there if he doesn't support what them. Funny, they aren't God but are an advocacy group who has put together some good things over recent years. Cut them some slack, no big deal. Froome will probably go onto win the Tour and this will long since be forgotten.

  • 11

    fondo 27.06.2013 at 03:38am

    Eddy was the biggest doper of all time. You going after him too? What the deal is. Americans caught on to how Europeans won. So they started using drugs and started to win. Now everyone is mad that Americans are beating them at their own game. Solution: make all races open to anyone who wants to pay entry. No pro teams.

  • 12

    Dan 26.06.2013 at 11:49pm

    Tim Mc-Exactly the point I was making. Perhaps they have spent too much time trying to track down one rider that they forgot there were more than just Froome? Porte still rides for Saxo. Tondo (RIP) is still pledging to race clean...somehow...The list could go on and on. They should probably use their time to update their site. I see it as this, if they made the pledge once why do they have to keep doing it? Seem redundant to me...Though all Froome really had to do was respond to the email by saying it wasn't his data to release.

  • 13

    Paul 26.06.2013 at 09:46am

    So Let me get this straight, in order to be affiliated with Bike Pure one needs to have equipment that records power data and then make this information publicly available? Or are you required only to provide this data if you are considered a world class athlete or Grand Tour Contender? Seems like double standards to me. Your site is about athletes making a “pledge” not to dope, it does not say that this pledge needs to be substantiated with training and racing data in order to remain affiliated, how can you expect an athlete at this level to provide you with this type of data, these teams literally spend millions on their training programs and they would be fools to publish rider data such as power, intensity etc.., it is the teams right not to share this data and to expect them to or to request this is just insane, while your initial intent may have been good, it was poorly executed and handled and I think if anything, it has left your brand tarnished as a result.

  • 14

    Paul A 26.06.2013 at 06:19am

    Bike Pure, it isn't that you are disingenuous two-faced scumbags that is the problem - it is the fact that you then abuse (and deliberately misrepresent) someone who has publicly supported you as a means to get publicity .. simply because he doesn't give in to your BLACKMAIL.

  • 15

    BJ 26.06.2013 at 01:06am

    It's easy for teams to say 'i'm clean'. Armstrong did if for his whole career and people believed him - look what happened there! Teams need to do more. If they are in possesion of data that can show that they aren't doping (SRM data etc) then surely it's in their best interests to produce such data. Its a no brainer. If there's nothing to hide, why hide??

  • 16

    Simon 26.06.2013 at 01:03am

    Its a no win situation. If bike pure kept froome on their site and he tests positive then they will be given grief over not asking for transparency. They did put the ball in his court by asking him on a number of occassions if he supported them and didn't respond to them. An interesting story because I guess he is their biggest profile rider after all. Onward...

  • 17

    Shannon 26.06.2013 at 12:56am

    A valid point made by Bike Pure that must be applauded. it's shame others don't have the balls to ask teams.

  • 18

    Things We Noticed: The Tour de France Turns 100 - Redux Racers 26.06.2013 at 12:01am

    [...] say a change of leadership is needed. Others suggest more data transparency can help plug the gaping holes in the efficacy of the drug testing regimes. Still others say the [...]

  • 19

    No. Publish them. You want Froome to do that. Why are you so special? And when did 25.06.2013 at 11:19pm

    No. Publish them for all to see. You want Froome to do that. Why are you so special? And when did pledge change?

  • 20

    Bike Pure 25.06.2013 at 11:13pm

    Hi Rich, would be more than happy to show you figures and explain in more detail to you what we do. Please drop me an email andy at bikepure.org. Thanks.

  • 21

    Rich 25.06.2013 at 11:11pm

    Dear Bike Pure, You original anti-doping pledge to which riders signed up to when Froome did said "The Pledge...is not between the rider and Bike Pure...'. When did this relationship change and were riders informed. Did it change when you started selling merchandise? In the interests of transparency will Bike Pure publish it's accounts and where anti-doping funds were spent.

  • 22

    Bike Pure 25.06.2013 at 10:43pm

    OK, to help avoid confusion. There are 3 parts to this story. As stated in the press release we hope that ALL grand tour podium finishers would be willing to publish their data after the Tour, regardless of who they are and which team they ride for. We have been trying to gain confirmation of Chris' support for Bike Pure since December 2012 both via email and as direct messages on Twitter as he followed us there. We received no response. As Chris was pat of the organisation and the highest profile athlete I felt it would be beneficial to contact him again to get confirmation on his support earlier this month and to ask his thoughts about the transparency proposals. We received a short reply from Michelle his girlfriend and she forwarded the message to Sky. We received a call from Team Sky on Thursday 20th June who said they would refuse to release data. I asked would it be possible to have written confirmation anyway of Chris support simply because there's no point in having a rider part of the organisation if they don't support it. I asked if they could get confirmation to me by Friday 21st June. I never received confirmation so released the statement.

  • 23

    Ledge K 25.06.2013 at 09:48pm

    As a cycling fan I thank you. One thing we should all have learned from the past is that cyclists and their teams (pros) cannot be trusted, no matter how much we want to be able to. Froome has not had a bad day all year, but we're supposed to believe it's all beet juice and cooling down on a trainer? Come on. Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice shame on Me. Kudo's bike pure. I am now a fan!

  • 24

    Dan 25.06.2013 at 06:43pm

    Paul A- My point was that they clearly do not keep their list current so why are they getting on Froome.

  • 25

    Paul A 25.06.2013 at 05:13pm

    Dan, clearly no publicity value in removing Xavier Tondo. Or perhaps Bike Pure are blackmailing him via a psychic medium :)

  • 26

    Dan 25.06.2013 at 04:37pm

    Do you realize that Tondo is still on your Role Models page?

  • 27

    Rich 25.06.2013 at 04:20pm

    When Froome joined Bike Pure it was a simple idea to commit to a pledge - "The Pledge not to cheat, is not between the rider and Bike Pure - But the between rider and his friends, family, fans and team mates". Note the bit about not between the rider and Bike Pure. Now when you visit the website the first thing you see is merchanise. Rather than signing the pledge you are 'certified' by Bike Pure for a 'Donation Package' starting at $250. A rider who supported them at the start is now abused to publicise a money making organisation.

  • 28

    Sacha 25.06.2013 at 03:22pm

    This is great, I'm sure the likes of Cohen, Festina Girl et al will be delighted you've gone and been mean to the nasty riders from Sky, but not mentioned anyone from other teams. Why should riders give away SRM data? Its like asking an American Football coach to swap play books, or F1 teams telling each other race strategies and when pit stops will happen.

  • 29

    Roadie57 25.06.2013 at 02:19pm

    I disagree with the premise that providing power data proves I rider rides clean. Picking some arbitrary number and saying riders with below this number are clean is just silly. Publishing is not proof. You think a cheater wouldn't cook the data before publishing? I want to see clean cycling but don't think data proves anything

  • 30

    Mads 25.06.2013 at 01:53pm

    Make it a condition for ALL role models to publish data, otherwise it is just rank hypocrisy and a cheap publicity stunt that reflects poorly on Bike Pure.

  • 31

    RB 25.06.2013 at 01:50pm

    What about the rest of the riders? What's the reason for singling Froome out? He's got no obligation to post his training data just to satisfy a few people. It's clearly an anti-Sky bias and it kind of makes me hope they go on and win the tour just to annoy this brigade more.

  • 32

    Anders 25.06.2013 at 01:49pm

    Any rider with an ounce of self-respect will now ask to have his name removed from the list of Bike Pure role models.

  • 33

    Tim 25.06.2013 at 01:43pm

    You ask "Why wouldn't (they)?" Well, simply because they want their training methods to remain secret, even if they are legal! Good conspiracy theory though and probably a good PR stunt for you!

  • 34

    Peter 25.06.2013 at 01:26pm

    Come on BP -you are missing the mark on this badly. Smacks of a publicity stunt. Unfollow...

  • 35

    Martin 25.06.2013 at 01:10pm

    Come on Bike Pure!, while i don't disagree with your views i think it is a poor shot of sky bashing. Why not mention Nibali Teejay Evans Contador Rolland in your press release. Think this is just to grab publicity and to please the anti sky brigade. Lets keep your views consistent and about all GT winners teams

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