Bike Pure calls for published data from Grand Tour contenders, says transparency is vital
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bike Pure calls for published data from Grand Tour contenders, says transparency is vital

by Shane Stokes at 6:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Anti-doping organisation states it has removed Froome from list of supporters after lack of communication

Andy LayheIn a push for greater transparency the Bike Pure anti doping movement has called on all Grand Tour podium finishers to release extra data in order to remove any doubts about the veracity of their performances.

Saying that the action can do much to remove any doubts, it argues that the recent history of the sport gives justification for teams claiming to be clean to provide actual proof that they are.

“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,” said co-founder Andy Layhe in a statement.

“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.”

The call comes at a time when the Skins organisation and former Festina trainer and anti-doping campaigner Antoine Vayer have published an analysis of the historical climbing power values displayed by top riders. Entitled ‘Not Normal,’ it sought to evaluate if the performances were genuine.

Many of those dating back to the height of the EPO era were deemed to be highly suspect, although in more recent times the publication concluded that power values were dropping and becoming less remarkable.

Layhe argues that the provision of data would be a positive step for the sport. “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,” he states. “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.”

Layhe points out that riders and teams often should loudly about being clean and assert that their performances are in themselves proof that it is possible to win without doping. However he counters that they don’t actually do anything more than that in order to back up those words.

Issuing data would, for him, be a way to provide extra transparency and to provide substance to their statements.

Froome no longer on list of Bike Pure supporters:

Layhe states that efforts to receive data from the biggest of the Tour de France favourites, Chris Froome, have been unsuccessful. The Briton was runner-up in last year’s race and has had an outstanding season thus far, winning the Tour of Oman, the Critérium International, the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

He is for many people the strongest contender for the Tour de France.

According to Layhe, Froome joined Bike Pure several years ago when he was part of the Barloworld setup. The organisation is voluntarily, but those who have been featured as members have benefited from a boost to their credibility as they aligned with an anti-doping organisation.

However Layhe has said that repeated efforts to contact Froome over an eighteen month period have led to no replies, and that he now interprets that as a sign that he no longer wants to be involved.

“We have asked for clarification from Chris on a number of occasions in the last eighteen 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.”

He added that requests in recent weeks to Froome to provide his data during or after the Tour were not responded to by the rider, and that Team Sky had itself had said that he would not be making any of that information public.

“For those who ask 'Why should riders release their data?', our reply would simply be 'Why wouldn't you?’ he states. “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.”

VeloNation has sought comment from Team Sky but has not yet received a statement on the matter. It has insisted to Bike Pure that it is a clean team, but said that any release of data needs to be a sport-wide initiative by teams and riders.

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