A new hitch in the relations between Christopher Froome and the French public. Back on the roads after the break linked to the Covid-19 health crisis, the Briton competes in the Route d'Occitanie with his Ineos team in an unusual role of team member. On Monday August 3, the four-time winner of the Tour de France set the pace for the leader of the British team, the Colombian Egan Bernal, winner of this third stage. Before breaking into the ramps of the Col de Beyrède.
Held in the company of the French from Groupama-FDJ Bruno Armirail, Christopher Froome has finished climbing the pass at a slower pace. And it was in the last kilometers of the ascent that the runner was booed by a spectator. The Briton, visibly recovered, then turned to the author of the whistles and insulted him, as shown in a video posted on social networks.
"He's a champion who deserves respect"
If the sound of the recording is not perfect, it seems that the future runner of Israel Start-up Nation is throwing a "Shit, asshole!" "
Thank you @chrisfroome for this beautiful moment!
(He is absolutely right) #RouteDOccitanie pic.twitter.com/NMQPJr1NKA
This is also what Grégoire heard, spectator from Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) and author of the video, already viewed more than 110,000 times on Twitter Tuesday. “The man who whistled Froome was part of a group that drank before the runners passed,” he explains. During the day, they also made remarks to people wearing Ineos jerseys, alluding to doping. Froome was right to react like this, he's a champion who deserves respect. "
This is not the first time that Christopher Froome has been booed on the sidelines of a race in France. In 2018, the rider was whistled during the presentation of the Tour de France teams in Vendée. A few days before the start of this Great Loop, the Briton had been cleared by the World Anti-Doping Agency after an abnormal test with salbutamol. The same year, a spectator had pushed him during the ascent of Alpe-d'Huez.
In 2016 and 2017, Christopher Froome was also targeted by whistles during the Tour de France. In 2015, a spectator had addressed an arm of honor to him during a stage in the Alps. During this same edition, the Briton had assured to have been sprayed with urine by a person present in the public.