Chris Froome dominated the eighth stage of the Tour de France today, blowing past his challengers as the course entered its notoriously brutal stretch of uphill climbing in the Pyrenees. Froome finished second last year but is throttling the competition in 2013, having already built a two-minute lead over Alberto Contador, a two-time champion and Froome’s biggest competition. Froome leads teammate and second-place rider Richie Porte in the overall standings by 51 seconds.
After his great performance today, Froome seemed confident when addressing the media, telling reporters:
More than anything today we’ve got a bit of a psychological advantage over the others. It’s quite hard to think about this, standing in yellow today. This is incredible. We’ve worked for months to be in this position.
The 28-year-old Froome also made statements regarding blood doping and steroids, two issues that have haunted the Tour ever since Lance Armstrong’s streak of wins from 1999-2005: Froome acknowledged that fans and reporters may be skeptical about his excellent performance, but insisted that he had nothing to hide:
It’s normal that people ask questions in cycling. I certainly know the results I’m getting, they’re not going to be stripped … I think the sport (has) changed. If you look at it logically the sport is in a better place now than it has been.