Chris Froome Accused of Having a Secret Electric Motor in His Bike

By Gary Cutlack on at

The French media aren't particularly happy that a British rider is set to win the Tour de France again this year, with a storm surrounding likely winner Chris Froome and suggesting that surely no one can be a winner without cheating any more.

We already saw Froome's power output data leaked online a week or two ago, when a supposed "hack" overlaid his power metrics atop video of his stunning climb up Mont Ventoux in 2013. Another win in the mountains this year has had Froome detractors out in force once again, with the French media outraged that Froome and his Sky team are... winning.

Physiologist Pierre Sallet is leading the anti-Froome charge in France, and is frequently engaged by French TV to raise his eyebrows and make claims he can't back up about doping. Interviewed by Radio 5 Live here in the UK, Sallet made the extraordinary claim that Froome could even be guilty of "mechanical doping" by having a secret motor on his bike. Which, if true, would be one of the biggest and most bizarre cheats in sporting history.

Sallet told Radio 5: "I don't say Froome is a doping athlete. If we have more detail, we can easily say it is a unique profile or doping. It could be a unique profile, classical doping -- using haematological drugs, like EPO -- or mechanical doping which is using a motor in your bike. People need to know."

Froome and his people say he's just put together a bit better than other cyclists, born with an unusually high lung capacity that puts him at a natural advantage when it comes to hammering up hills on a bike all day -- so questioning his performances is a bit like asking why tall people are better at the high jump than dwarves. [PR Week]

Image credit: Chris Froome from Shutterstock