Chris Froome's girlfriend has spoken out about the Lance Armstong doping scandal, saying that the hopes the "demons of the past" don't affect the future of the sport.
Unsurprisingly, Michelle Cound, the girl closest to the great young hope for British cycling, says : “I just hope that the demons of the past don’t affect the sport negatively going into the future.
“Things have changed dramatically. I think any rider that dopes nowadays would have to be quite stupid to do so.
“I know how often Chris gets tested. During the Vuelta his blood and urine were tested for five consecutive days. I can’t think of any other sport where the athletes are tested as thoroughly.”
The cycling photographer, originally from Wales, also told Wales Online: “I do hope the sponsors stand by the teams with a zero-tolerance approach to doping, and continue to support the clean, honest riders that aren’t willing to take any short cuts. With that, the sport can only go from strength to strength.”
But having photographed Armstrong herself, Cound admitted that the vast majority of people were duped by him. She said: “There were so many that believed in him, and believed that he was clean. I have come to the disappointing realisation that it was a huge part of professional cycling.
She went on to express her surprise and delight at his Olympic achievements, saying: “I was blown away. I didn’t expect it at all – Chris didn’t either. He doesn’t see himself as a time-trial specialist, so with riders like Cancellara there, he would have hoped to have got top five. He certainly didn’t expect to podium.”
And given the 2013 Tour route, which strongly favours the 27-year-old Froome, it seems unlikely this is last time we will will see him 'podium'.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.