First Tour de France since Armstrong's confession this week

CYCLING: This year's Tour de France, which opens in Corsica on Saturday night with a 212km run from Porto Vecchia to Bastia, is the first since disgraced seven-time winner Lance Armstrong's abuse of the sport was laid bare by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Despite attempts to purge cheaters from the sport, questions still remain - particularly after two Italian riders - Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo di Luca, tested positive for EPO during the recent Giro d'Italia.

But 2013 Tour favourite, Englishman Chris Froome, believes this year's peloton will be the cleanest in decades.

"There is still a lot of criticism out there, scepticism out there and a lot of fans who have been let down," the 28-year-old Brit said.

"I sympathise with that. I am one of those fans who was also let down (he watched the Armstrong-era Tours as a schoolboy at boarding school in Africa).

"But we are now in a position where we can show that the sport has changed. I certainly know how I work for the results I get and I know that my results aren't going to be stripped in five, six, seven years' time."