By Julien Pretot
GAP, France (Reuters) - Team Sky are planning to release part of yellow jersey wearer Chris Froome's data as they seek to end doping suspicions surrounding the Tour de France leader. Froome attracted some negative headlines when he destroyed his rivals in the first mountain stage of the Tour last Tuesday and Briton had urine thrown at him by an abusive spectator on Saturday as the atmosphere on the roadside turned sour.
Seeking to protect Froome from the prospect of a similar incident, two police officers were guarding the Team Sky bus ahead of Monday's 16th stage. "We faced the same questions last time around," Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford told reporters on Monday, referring to Froome's equally dominant performance up Mont Ventoux in 2013 that set him on course for victory. "We had agreed to give our power data to UK anti-doping and the CADF (Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation). The CADF didn't want it, UK anti-doping had it but I don't think they did anything with it but we were willing to give it to an independent body and we could do the same again. "And I think we'll have a look at it tonight and for the rest day (on Tuesday) we will just release an average cadence, average power." Froome leads Colombian Nairo Quintana by three minutes and 10 seconds with American Tejay van Garderen a further 22 seconds off the pace in third place.
Asked if he minded Sky sharing his data, Froome said: "It's the intellectual property of the team and if they're happy to give it out of course I support that, no problem."
The 30-year-old, however, wondered why he was under tighter scrutiny than previous grand tour winners.
"If you look at the last five grand tours that have been won by different teams, different riders, there has not been the same outcry for power data and numbers," he said.
(Editing by Justin Palmer)