Team Sky's Chris Froome described himself as having an "absolutely clear conscience" after his historic Giro d'Italia win saw him become the first British man to win the race and add the triumph to last year's Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana victories.
What was his sixth Grand Tour title, following last year's fourth Tour de France and maiden La Vuelta wins, saw him become the seventh man to have won all three races, and just the third to hold the trio of titles simultaneously, with Eddy Merckx and Bernault Hinault the others to have done so.
He added to his haul while controversy generated by his adverse analytical finding for Salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta remains ongoing.
And Froome was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: "I have an absolutely clear conscience and I have no doubt this result will stand the test of time."
On Friday, Froome memorably went from fourth in the general classification, three minutes and 22 seconds off the top, to 40 seconds clear in first as he won stage 19 having launched a daring attack on the Colle delle Finestre with 80 kilometres left.
Asked if he had wondered about the wisdom of launching it given the way sceptics might react, Froome replied: "I don't ride according to what Twitter trolls are going to write about. That has no bearing whatsoever on how I ride my bike.
"I find it interesting people are very quick to jump to conclusions, when actually if you break down what [that ride] looks like, I made up more time on the descent than on the climbs or the flats.
"They [the chase group] were actually closing on me on the climbs. How can people say that I was going too fast on the climbs? It is actually uneducated, isn't it? They have just gone on emotion."
He added: "I am absolutely certain that when people have the same information as I have, they will understand why I made the decision to continue racing and riding the way I have been."
When asked about the Salbutamol issue and Froome managing to keep such focus and cycle at such a level, Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said on Eurosport: "The reason he can do that is because he 100 per cent knows that he has done nothing wrong.
"It's not been easy and he's had to remain focused, but we're all believing the truth will stand up."
Froome's lead over second-placed Tom Dumoulin, the Dutch 2017 Giro champion, extended to 46 seconds on Saturday, and that was how the GC also looked after Sunday's largely ceremonial final stage in Rome, neutralised after three laps and won by Ireland's Sam Bennett.
Froome said: "For any cyclist this is the dream. To have all three leaders jerseys in the space of 10 months is just incredible.
"It is such a huge honour to be mentioned in the same sort of light as those guys [Merckx and Hinault]."
Should you block ads? Adblocker