Chris Froome has said that he believes he will win the anti-doping case triggered by an adverse analytical finding for twice the permitted amount of the anti-asthma drug salbutamol during last year’s Vuelta, which he won.
The Team Sky rider was speaking to BBC Sport ahead of the 101st edition of the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Jerusalem tomorrow.
The four-time Tour de France champion is targeting victory in the Italian race, which would see him achieve the rare distinction of holding all three Grand Tour titles at the same time.
After news of the adverse analytical finding broke in December, Froome said he would fight to clear his name, and asked if he believed to be exonerated, he said, "Yes. I certainly expect to be."
Several riders as well as UCI President David Lappartient and race organisers have expressed misgivings about Froome continuing to race while the process is ongoing, but the 32-year-old said: "Everyone's entitled to an opinion.
“I can understand lots of people are frustrated at the lack of information, but this is a process that was meant to be confidential.
"It has been a challenging last few months but I like to think I've dealt with it very well. I certainly haven't had any sleepless nights,” he continued.
"I'm confident that people will see it from my point of view when all the details are out there."
The Giro d’Italia starts tomorrow with an individual time trial in Jerusalem followed by two road stages in Israel.
Monday’s first rest day will see the peloton head to Sicily, where the race will resume on Tuesday.
The winner will be crowned in Rome on Sunday 27 May.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.