The American team have labelled a rumour of Chris Froome moving to the team 'disrespectful'

“It’s a complete lie” that Chris Froome and BMC Racing are negotiating for 2018, says BMC Racing general manager Jim Ochowicz.

Froome, according to an article in today’s French sports daily L’Equipe, is sick of the problems Team Sky had with Bradley Wiggins, jiffy bags and TUEs.

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He reportedly discussed a €5 million (£4.34m) annual contract with the American WorldTour team.

“It’s a complete lie. That’s a lie,” Ochowicz told Cycling Weekly. “I wouldn’t even classify it as a rumour. It’s a flat-out lie.”

The American manager attended the Critérium du Dauphiné over the weekend to see his star Richie Porte start.

Porte won the stage four time trial, 23.5 kilometres, by 37 seconds over his former Sky team-mate Froome in eighth place.

Richie Porte has had a fine 2017 season so far and is BMC’s chosen rider for the Tour de France (ASO/A.Broadway)

Froome before stage five also denied L’Equipe‘s article. In January 2016, he signed a contract extension with Sky that runs through 2018.

“The journalist should check the facts. We are talking about the most well-known cyclist in the world and his reputation and him within his own team. It’s disrespectful,” Ochowicz said.

“How do you substantiate a rumour and put a dollar amount down? Just pull it out of the air?”

The three-time Tour de France winner reportedly earns around £4 million (€4.61m) with Team Sky. Porte, in comparison, is said to earn just over €2 million (£1.74m)

“At the moment, no [we would not consider Froome]. I have no interest because I’m happy with what we have with Richie and Greg Van Avermaet. Those two guys are guys are carrying the leadership role in the team to the highest degree of the sport,” Ochowicz continued.

“So, no. Chris Froome is great athlete, any team would love to have him, but it’s just not something that fits into our platform.”



Ochowicz would not comment on the length of Porte’s contract. “We don’t talk about individual contracts, what they have, terms, lengths and amounts. We just don’t do that as a policy.”

BMC is giving Porte sole leadership for the 2017 Tour de France after he shared it with Tejay van Garderen going into the 2016 edition.

Porte won the Tour Down Under and the Tour de Romandie so far this year. His time trial victory on Wednesday puts him on track for the Tour, starting in three weeks in Düsseldorf.

“Richie had a great time trial in the last day in Romandie and that’s what put him in the lead. This time trial also gave him an advantage over the other contenders,” added Ochowicz.

“Valverde is close on his heels, but he has the advantage and not a deficit. We are excited, but it’s a good test for us going into the Tour.”