Tour de France: Ian Drake hails Chris Froome's 'dignity'
Last Updated: 27/07/15 1:53pm
British Cycling's chief has paid tribute to Tour de France winner Chris Froome's dignity in dealing with his critics.
The Team Sky rider, 30, triumphed for a second time in three years over a turbulent three weeks which saw Froome called a "doper", doused in urine and spat at.
Ian Drake, chief executive of British Cycling, insisted that Team Sky had been set up to prove that riders could win clean.
Drake said: "The dignity with which Chris has dealt with it has been fantastic.
"Everybody knows some of the incidents Chris had to put up with and they are not acceptable on the sides of the road or in society. There has to be a culture of respect there, people know who the culprits are and fans have to get behind this and stop this behaviour."
Drake said Team Sky was actually protecting cyclists from being drawn in to doping.
"Team Sky was built on the success we had had in the GB team which was rooted in winning clean," he added.
"One of the issues was we were looking after these athletes from 13 or 14, putting an Olympics medal around their neck and then letting them go into this murky professional world. We thought we needed to do something different and Team Sky filled gap in providing a safe environment for young British talent.
"This has had a knock-on effect on the whole peloton and it is putting cycling back up there where people can win a bike race without being questioned.
"It will take time but the way the team have conducted themselves amidst all the treatment by some corners of the press and isolated spectators has been phenomenal."