In early March, when Chris Froome‘s silences were speaking more forcefully than his words, it briefly seemed as though Dave Brailsford might not see another Tour de France as Team Sky manager. And so when Brailsford took a seat alongside Froome at the team’s pre-race press conference in Düsseldorf on Wednesday evening, it might even have felt to him like a victory of sorts, yet the questions over his position persist.
Team Sky enters the Tour as the subject of a UK Anti-Doping investigation, which began last Autumn as an inquiry into the mysterious Jiffy Bag that was dispatched to Bradley Wiggins on the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné. The inquiry has since revealed that the team ordered 55 doses of the corticosteroid triamcinolone between 2010 and 2013, most of which have not been accounted for.
Brailsford was asked if he was concerned that his credibility had been damaged by the litany of unflattering stories that have emerged over the past year, but he spoke around the question instead of answering it directly.
“Well, we’re very focused on the race,” Brailsford said. “As always, we’ve come here… I’ve been involved in this sport a long time and I’ve always tried to do it the way it should be done. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved in this sport and I’m proud to be sitting here.”
Asked if he was still enjoying his role as Sky manager despite the furore of the past nine months or so and the allegations of wrongdoing, Brailsford was more forthcoming. He dismissed the idea that he was giving any consideration to stepping down from his post.
“I love it. Absolutely love it. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else,” Brailsford said. “I’m going nowhere. I’ll be here next year, the year after, the year after. I’m passionate about it. I’m pretty patriotic, we’ve built something from scratch including British Cycling, we’re a global team with riders from different countries and it’s a privilege to be amongst these lads. It’s a privileged thing to be doing. I love it.”
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