International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid the cyclists of today’s generation and blasted the press who are focused more on doping than racing at the Tour de France.
The dominant performances of Chris Froome and Team Sky on the first Pyrenean mountain stage were compared to performances produced by the disgraced former US Postal team with whom Lance Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles. However, McQuaid said it is unfair to tarnish today’s racers with the same brush as their predecessors from the 1990s.
“In the recent classics, yesterday (Sunday) and the day before, the first questions the riders had to answer was about doping. I think it is unfortunate,” he said.
“I think the media have to understand the riders of today don’t deserve to be judged on the mistakes of their predecessors… Riders of today need to be respected for what they are trying to do, which is to race clean and race without a doping program.
“If you look only at Saturday, when you saw big riders like Cadel Evans and (Alberto) Contador in trouble on the first day in the mountains. In the past, all the favorites came out more or less together from the first mountain stages, and the final battle would be done in the second period of mountains.
“Here we are after the first mountain stage in the Tour de France, already a big catch-up has developed between the favorites of the race. So it shows that the riders are human, they have good days and bad days.”
McQuaid added, “I have introduced the most sophisticated and effective anti-doping infrastructure in world sport to cycling,” and added, “It is now possible to race and win clean. Our sport is leading the way.”