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Chris Froome takes the Piss

  • Chris Froome takes the Piss
  • Chris Froome takes the Piss
  • Chris Froome takes the Piss
  • Chris Froome takes the Piss
  • Chris Froome takes the Piss

Talk about a low act, well below the belt.

A lily-livered spectator had a slash and threw a cup full of urine over Tour de France leader Chris Froome during Stage 14.

While the sallow colour of the leader’s jersey in the Tour de France is somewhat sickly and might attract criticism, it hardly warrants dowsing the mellow fellow in yellow liquid and shouting “dope.”

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Chris Froome looks like a skeleton on wheels and his style of riding is anything but smooth but he’s more a cheetah than a cheat.

In the words of Sir Dave Brailsford, Sky's team principal, "If we had all his measurements from all the climbs he has done in training we would be able to see the evolution," he said. "It is not fair what has been said. Chris is special. He has a special physiology. But he doesn't cheat."

The 2015 Tour de France is two thirds complete and the peloton is beetling towards the Alps. As per usual it has been hard to avoid controversy. While only one rider has been disqualified for cocaine use (non-performance enhancing), it is Froome’s current stranglehold on top spot that has some sceptics crying foul.

But the Kenyan-born Brit is stronger than a Fulcrum spoke. Time trialling, hill climbing, sticking with the peloton and performing in front of the camera, Froome finds each discipline far too easy.

He is polite, self-effacing and always indebted to his team mates. Closely cosseted by Team SKY, Froome is delivered to the foot of each col and the rest is easy. The guy is a machine. Sadly, it is the drug-induced Armstrong years of cycling that still pervade the thinking of some sceptics and detracts from Froome's performance.

At the start of Stage 16, Froome enjoys a three-minute buffer from his nearest threat, Colombian Nairo Quintana. Other pre-race favourites Alberto Contador and Vincento Nibali are further down the mountain.

There is not a Frenchman in sight. Thibaut Pinot is a shot foie gras, Thomas Voeckler has been missing from the breakaways, even evergreen Sylvain Chavanel has failed to fly the tricolore.

Perhaps the lack of a local leader on the road forced a passionate spectator to relieve his frustration on Froome. There is no suggestion that the frogs are to blame and the gendarmes have a snowball’s chance of finding the culprit and his offending member.

In the fast lane, the sprinters are finding it nigh on impossible to get to grips with a fast-finishing Andre Greipel. Peter Sagan looks to have sewn up the green jersey on the way to Paris but it is Greipel who has really fired, winning three stages and a stint in green. His best ever performance in Le Tour.

Mark Cavendish’s backside misfired with a bout of diarrhoea on Stage 15, causing him to splutter his way to the line. He has managed to win one stage but the Manx Missile's race in run.

There have been plenty of thrills and spills. Despite being smashed with injuries during week one, Orica GreenEDGE has recovered well with Matthews and the Yates brothers still in the mix.

As for the highlights thus far into the race, it's hard to go past these two memorable moments ....

1. Australian Rohan Dennis winning the individual time trial for team BMC.

2. MTN-Qhubeka’s maiden win. Like a bird of prey dropping from the sky, Steve Cummings swooped to win the stage on Mandela Day. You couldn't have written a better script.

Riding for the same team, Daniel Teklehaimanot is the first African in the history of the race to wear the Polka Dot jersey. It’s powerful stuff.

      Six stages to go, four of them in the Alps from Wednesday to Saturday. Froome  will be anything but mellow as he fights to stay in yellow.

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