There were many confused faces at the Groupama-FDJ camp outside their hotel in the western suburbs of Copenhagen on Thursday morning. When the riders grabbed their bikes and set out for a practice session the day before the Tour de France started, they had to make their way through a group of photo crews.
Reporters weren’t here to talk to Thibaut Bennott, David Godot, or Stephen Kongbut to capture the mood of the victorious Bahrain, who are staying in the same hotel.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, Bahrain Victorious Hotel rooms and vehicles have been searched by Danish police in an anti-doping operation Led by the French authorities, which have now seen measures in several European countries and spanned more than a year.
“This is the second time I have woken up to the police in our hotel after Bahrain,” Mark Madiot said. cycling news In the car park.
The Groupama-FDJ’s longtime director was there in Pau on tour last year, where this police operation broke cover for the first time. The two teams were checked out at the same hotel at that time as well, when rooms were searched and baggage confiscated.
The raid on Thursday morning was apparently a little quieter, following on from the homes of the tour brigade passengers that are being searched in advance before they travel to Denmark for Grand Division.
“I slept through it,” said Kong. cycling news. “The first thing I heard was when I was having breakfast.”
Groupama-FDJ riders took off anonymously as the world watched the Bahrain victor. As Küng pointed out, it was just a coincidence that they were sharing a hotel, but he also admitted that the situation implicated them indirectly, as it does with the entire peloton.
“It gives an image that we are all cheaters, which is not very nice,” Kong said.
“For us, it doesn’t change anything. We focus on our thing. But all the cameras are pointing at them. It’s not a nice feeling, for sure.”
European time trial champion Küng was on the verge of preparing for one of the biggest days of his season, as the inaugural TT favorite of the Tour around Copenhagen on Friday. He would have finalized a mistake, but there would be a sad note in the back of his mind.
The same applies to the Tour de France as a whole, and in particular to the Danish Grand Prix Depart. Thousands of fans packed Tivoli Gardens with deaf ears at the teams show on Wednesday night, but Thursday’s events threaten to overshadow the occasion.
Madiot did not want to comment on the news, saying that he did not know enough about it, but Küng gave his opinion on the complicated situation and the high stakes.
“I just hope that if something is up, they are sure to be sued. But I also hope that if there is nothing, there will be a public apology,” the Swiss rider said.
“It is good that there are prosecutions because I am the first to support any action that helps give our sport credibility and make sure that we, as clean riders, are not being penalized. But in the same way, I am always asking for fair play, from everyone, from the authorities.
“If they go after them, that’s fine. If they don’t find anything, there should be a statement about that.”
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