Team Sky boss said UCI chief of having a "local French mayor mentality"...

UCI president David Lappartient has told Sir Dave Brailsford to keep his mouth shut and accused the Team Sky boss of insulting France’s mayors and its population.

Last month, before Chris Froome was cleared in the anti-doping case relating to his adverse analytical finding for an excessive amount of the anti-asthma drug salbutamol, Lappartient had repeated his view that it might be better if the defending champion did not race the Tour de France while it remained unresolved.

Race organisers ASO were set to exclude Froome from this year’s race but last Monday the UCI confirmed that the case was closed after the World Anti-doping Agency advised it that no anti-doping rule violation had happened, leaving him free to race.

Reuters reports that on Sunday, Brailsford, in reference to Lappartient – who defeated Brian Cookson in the UCI presidential election last September – said: “I gave him the benefit of the doubt when he started.

“I thought, 'OK, he is new to the job, he obviously doesn't quite understand the responsibilities of a presidential role.' I think he has still got the local French mayor kind of mentality.”

As it happens, since March 2008, Lappartient has been mayor of Sarzeau, the town in Brittany where yesterday’s Stage 4 of the Tour de France started.

But before becoming UCI president, the 45-year-old also spent nine years in the same position at the French cycling federation, and four with the European cycling federation.

Monday’s Stage 3 team time trial, which started and finished in Cholet, saw Team Sky’s riders booed as they negotiated the 35.5 kilometre course, as Froome had been at last Thursday’s team presentation.

It was perhaps with that in mind that Lappartient said of Brailsford yesterday: “When you have his level of popularity, you'd do better to keep a low profile.

“Who hosts the Tour de France stages? The French mayors. So it’s an insult to all the 35,000 French mayors and to French people in general,” he added.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.