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Tour de France champion speaks ahead of BBC Sports Personality vote - but Andy Murray is hot favourite

Tour de France champion Chris Froome says that he is determined to defend his title next July to prove that cycling has entered a new, drugs-free age.

On his way to winning the yellow jersey this year, Froome had to defend himself against suspicions his performance was artificially enhanced – just as Sky team mate Sir Bradley Wiggins had to do 12 months earlier when he became the first British rider to win the race.

The last rider to retain a Tour de France title was Alberto Contador in 2010 – but he had that win taken away after testing positive for clenbuterol.

Prior to that, the only rider since Miguel Indurain to successfully defend his crown was Lance Armstrong, but last year he was stripped of the seven wins in a row he took between 1999 and 2005.

Froome, however, insists that if he manages to defend his title in the 101st edition of the race, which gets under way in Yorkshire next summer, it will help restore credibility to the sport.

Speaking to BBC Sport, the 28-year-old said: "I'd like to think if I can go back and do it again it will bring some credibility back to the sport.

"I know for a fact some people were dubious about the results I got last [season] and Bradley the year before," he said.

"I know myself that my results aren't going to be stripped, but it will take time before people will see they are going to stand.

"I think we're through the toughest time of it now,” he went on.

“It is really a minority of riders breaking the rules now and getting caught, but we are still living in that post-doping era where we are having to deal with a lot of negativity."

Froome is one of 10 athletes named on the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, won three times in the last five years by a cyclist – Sir Chris Hoy in 2008, Mark Cavendish in 2011 and Sir Bradley Wiggins last year.

Prior to that, the only cyclist to have won the title was Tom Simpson in 1965, the year the County Durham-born rider became the first British rider to win the men’s world championship road race.

The awards ceremony for BBC Sports Personality of the Year – now in its 60th year – will be held next Sunday evening in Leeds, the city where Froome will begin his defence of his Tour de France title next July.

Referring to his inclusion on the short list, Froome told the BBC: "It's a great honour to be included, especially given the strong year British sport has had.

"It's a prestigious award and it says so much for the emergence of our sport that a cyclist has managed to win it for three of the last five years."

Looking to the future, he said: "The biggest goal and challenge for me is going to be to try to re-focus myself on the Tour de France year after year.

"I'd like to think I'm going to carry on riding it for as long as I can find the motivation and as long as I'm physically up for it."

Froome may be ODDS ON favourite to retain his yellow jersey next year, but he's a 200/1 outsider to win BBC Sports Personality of the year.

Tennis player Andy Murray – the first British man to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon since Sir Fred Perry in 1936 – is a 25/1 ON favourite to take the trophy.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

14 comments

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Al__S [998 posts] 2 years ago
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Froome's not going to win SPOTY. If you;'re a betting type, putting money on anyone other than Andy Murray is probably foolish

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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Shame Andy Murray cant prove tennis has a drugs free future.

Allegedly
 17

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Doper [69 posts] 2 years ago
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Froome's not going to restore credibility to the sport either, lol.  24

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 2 years ago
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Al__S wrote:

Froome's not going to win SPOTY. If you;'re a betting type, putting money on anyone other than Andy Murray is probably foolish

Yeah, I made the point on Twitter that the potential 4 per cent return you'll get for backing Murray and lending Messrs Ladbrokes or William Hill your dosh for the next week is a lot more than you'll get from a bank for letting them look after your money for a year.

And, to be honest, probably safer  3

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bikecellar [268 posts] 2 years ago
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Good job Mr Froome did not go into the Tour with the same defeatist attitude some are showing towards SPOTY vote vote vote.

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dp24 [201 posts] 2 years ago
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bikecellar wrote:

Good job Mr Froome did not go into the Tour with the same defeatist attitude some are showing towards SPOTY vote vote vote.

There's a difference between being defeatist and being realistic.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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This is most amusing.

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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SPOTY - the sporting award that no pro sportsman really gives a stuff about.

I think Tom Daley should win.

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duc888 [39 posts] 2 years ago
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Err, is that the same Andy Murray who is the worlds only living personality transplant donor.

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Lord Fishface [26 posts] 2 years ago
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duc888 wrote:

Err, is that the same Andy Murray who is the worlds only living personality transplant donor.

Bear in mind that the award has been won twice by Damon Hill, in comparison with whom Andy Murray, dull as dishwater as he is, looks like a fiery maverick.

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Leviathan [1865 posts] 2 years ago
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duc888 wrote:

Err, is that the same Andy Murray who is the worlds only living personality transplant donor.

Is that the same Andy Murray who struggled with temper tantrums on court. Rebuilt himself physically and mentally to beat the other top players. Regularly cried on court when he lost, and won. Said controversial things in the press. When through all the doubt of being just another British also ran, lost Wimbledon, then won the Olympics, sang the national anthem, Won the US and finally Wimbledon? All with his screaming mum looking on?

In other words; you don't like his voice. This man has more personality in one of his missing toenails than you will ever have.

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AWPeleton [3263 posts] 2 years ago
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The wife of one of my mates is a manager at a local tennis club and Murray did a talk in one night and by all accounts he was an absolute scream.

Obviously i would like to see Froome win but Murray isn't as bad as people make out.

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daddyELVIS [655 posts] 2 years ago
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How exactly does CF winning next TdF prove cycling has a future free of doping?

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Paul J [863 posts] 2 years ago
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"It is really a minority of riders breaking the rules now and getting caught,"

Emphasis mine.