Palestine protesters target Tour de France as Chris Froome’s wife makes anti-Muslim outburst

Tour de France winner Chris Froome with wife Michelle
Tour de France winner Chris Froome pictured with his wife Michelle in 2013 while riding for Team Sky - Getty Images/Bryn Lennon

Chris Froome’s Israel-Premier Tech team face being targeted by pro-Palestine protesters at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, prompting an anti-Muslim outburst from his wife.

Michelle Froome deleted her X account on Tuesday after saying there were “no innocent Gazans” and describing Muslims as a “drain on modern society”.

Her posts came after pro-Palestine activists had called for Israel-Premier Tech, the team of her four-time Tour de France winner husband, to be confronted by “more protests than ever” at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this year, in light of Israel’s ongoing invasion of Gaza.

In a post on the official Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) site on Monday, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel wrote: “We call for more protests than ever along the race routes of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, which will start from Italy this year.”

The organisation refers to Israel-Premier Tech as being “Israeli government-sponsored”, stating that the outfit serves to “sportswash” what it calls a “75-year-long regime of military occupation and apartheid”.

Israel-Premier Tech is in fact not directly connected to the state of Israel, but the squad has a strong association with Israel through its co-owners, Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams and Israeli businessman Ronald Baron.

In a series of 13 tweets this week, Michelle Froome made her feelings on the conflict clear.

“Women’s rights matter! Gay rights matter! Trans rights matter!” she wrote. “Hamas doesn’t support any of those. Take the blindfolds off and see the reality of the hatred they are spreading. There are no innocent Gazans.

“I’m sick of sitting idly by quietly supporting Israel while the Hamas propaganda takes over social media. Enough is enough! The silent majority needs to stand up and be heard. We don’t want your religion, we don’t want your beliefs. It is not compatible with modern civilisation.”

Froome’s wife has been in trouble in the past for posts on social media, including a famous spat with Cath Wiggins, ex-wife of Sir Bradley Wiggins when their husbands rode together at the Tour in 2012.

She had not been active on X/Twitter since 2020. She said on Monday that she would “not be quiet anymore”.

“If anyone is surprised that I have strong opinions they clearly haven’t been around cycling long enough,” Mrs Froome continued. “I have been quiet but I will not be quiet anymore. This is not about cycling it is about the world my children are being raised in. More parents need to be concerned about this.”

Earlier this year, Israel-Premier Tech removed the name “Israel” from its team vehicles, as part of what they called “precautionary measures” due to Israel’s ongoing invasion of Gaza.

In a statement, Israel-Premier Tech said: “Any comments or beliefs made public by third parties associated with the team’s riders or staff do not represent Israel-Premier Tech, its team members, or its partners.”