“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.”
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.