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Tour de France Leader Chris Froome Says Fan Threw Urine at Him

A fan at the Tour de France threw a pot of urine at leader Chris Froome because of doping allegations.
July 19, 2015, 1:37pm

Wherever you find yourself on the PED spectrum—from "they're dirtbag cheats" to "I don't care"—surely we can all agree that throwing human waste at other humans is not cool. Britain's Chris Froome, who widened his lead in the Tour de France yesterday, claims a French fan did just that, saying in an interview that a fan "threw a pot of urine" and yelled "dopé" at him early in the stage. Richie Porte, a teammate of Froome's on Sky, said another fan punched him earlier this week.

The fans are all up in the action of the race, perhaps closer than fans get to any other sporting event, so in a sense this is almost unavoidable. There will be nutjobs out there, and they have been for years. As gross as it is, this is not the first time someone has hurled urine at a stranger riding a bike through France. It happened to Mark Cavendish during the 2013 Tour, after his involvement in a controversial crash, and many other fans have had less-than-savory interactions with many other riders. But Froome seems to think these nutjobs have been enabled by misleading reporting.

Froome said the attacks were "unacceptable on so many different levels." As for the cause, he said he blamed journalists who he said had been "extremely irresponsible in the way they've reported on the race."

In the video above, Froome references "certain commentators...from the old era" who have claimed his performances are dubious. He is almost certainly referring to Antoine Vayer, a french coach and phys-ed teacher, most known for working with Christophe Bassons, the only rider on Team Festina who was cleared of doping charges following a 1998 raid on the Tour.

Vayer has been banging the anti-doping drum for the better part of two decades and recently released video he was given that shows Froome performance's from the Tour in 2013, complete with "heart rate, power in watts, pedaling rate and speed." He did the same for last year's Vuelta a Espana. Vayer has played coy and not said anything specific about the data—"I say nothing. I just put this out as a tool to appreciate cycling in a different way. It's very interesting."—but the implication is obvious: these are unnatural results and Froome is lying when he denies doping accusations. "I'm a coach," he said. "If I saw this from one of my riders, I would say: 'Go back home, I don't want you on the team.'"

Froome's response to the skeptics is simple: "Those people should come watch us train, see how I lead my life." Just keep your piss to yourself if you do.

[New York Times]