Bike Pure — an advocacy group promoting clean racing — has removed Tour de France favorite Chris Froome (Sky) from its list of endorsed riders just days before the start of the race.
The spat comes as the group requested detailed performance numbers from Froome, such as power numbers, heart rate, and VO2 max, data that riders and teams typically are loath to release into the public domain.
The group claims some 170 riders and teams have joined its movement, but it created a stir Tuesday when it removed Froome from its list of “role models” in the elite pro ranks.
Here’s a portion of what was posted on the Bike Pure website:
Many will know that Froome aligned with our organization 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 organization. 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 organization then there is no reason for us to promote them as such.
There was no official reaction from either Sky or Froome, but the announcement has created quite a stir on Twitter and other social media. Froome’s girlfriend, Michelle Cound, responded this morning: “I responded but you demanded that he reply two weeks before the Tour.. basically promote you or else? Ridiculous…”
Bike Pure officials insist they have been in contact with Froome since December 2012 to gain further access to his performance numbers.
The group proclaims that riders such as Froome, who has been associated with the group since 2008, should release the numbers, in part to help restore the credibility of cycling, and use them as a benchmark for measuring clean performances.
Teams and riders, however, typically guard those performance numbers closely, claiming they do not want to tip off their competition or to have the numbers misrepresented in the media or by detractors.