Froome booed and whistled at Tour presentation

2018 Tour de France -- Chris Froome and team Sky booed at race presentation

Four-time victor Chris Froome was roundly booed by the crowd that gathered for the teams presentation of the Tour de France in a small town in the west of France on Thursday evening.

Tour de France favourite Chris Froome insisted Friday he would never cheat to win cycling's biggest race, writing in the Le Monde newspaper that victory based on a lie would be a personal defeat.

Froome admitted the investigation has "undoubtedly been damaging" but said he is glad to "draw a line in the sand and move on".

The four-time Tour de France victor tested positive for excessive levels of salbutamol during last year's Vuelta a Espana but the World Anti-Doping Agency concluded Froome's results did not constitute an adverse analytical finding.

Froome, who is aiming to win a record-equalling fifth Tour, insisted he was not anxious by the backlash at Sky's pre-race media event on Wednesday.

"But really I can't make a prediction about how it's going to go".

First French sprinter Arnaud Demare saw his hopes of a stage win ended in a tumble, then Team Sky's Egan Bernal, the youngest rider in the race at 21, slid off the side of the road in another incident.

"I'm still an asthmatic, that hasn't changed", Froome told Sky Sports News.

Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford praised Froome's strength of character during the doping investigation.

The head of world cycling has urged the public to ensure Froome has a "safe" Tour de France.

"But things finally worked out and I'm free to race now".

Most of the teams participating in this year's race were well received, but the same could not be said for Sky, who were jeered from the outset.

"We knew Chris was innocent from the start and it was very bad the way this information that should never have been released was leaked".

"It's also important to respect all the riders, including Chris Froome - he is a former Tour victor and a serious contender for the next title".

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