On Sunday afternoon, Chris Froome (Team Sky) will pedal through the streets of Rome in the maglia rosa and aboard a pink bike. He will accept the congratulations of his teammates as he freewheels across the finish line on the Via dei Fori Imperiali. In the shadow of the Coliseum and amid a shower of pink confetti, he will be presented with the Trofeo Senza Fine.
In short, Froome will be acclaimed with the normal pomp and ceremony as the winner of the 2018 Giro d’Italia, but, by any metric, this cannot be described as a normal edition of the Giro d’Italia. The still unresolved case of Froome’s positive test for salbutamol at last year’s Vuelta a España has seen to that.
On the eve of the Grande Partenza in Jerusalem, race director Mauro Vegni claimed that the UCI had assured him that Froome’s final result would stand regardless of the outcome of the salbutamol case. That same evening, the UCI issued a statement to refute that claim, and president David Lappartient reiterated that stance when he visited the Giro this week.
In Rome on Sunday, the 2018 Giro winner’s name will be writ in water, not set in stone.
After securing final overall victory by repelling Tom Dumoulin’s flurry of attacks on the road to Cervinia on Saturday afternoon, Froome was asked about his salbutamol case. His comments, as they have been since news of the matter broke in December, were decidedly low on detail.
“That’s obviously something we’re dealing with. I have a clear conscience,” Froome said. “As I said, when the time is right, all the information will be shared with everyone and I’m sure people will see it from my point of view.”
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