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Chris Froome to return to racing at Ruta del Sol

Joe Robinson
5 Feb 2018

Team Sky announce return of rider despite ongoing investigation for salbutamol adverse finding

Chris Froome (Team Sky) is set to begin his 2018 season at the Ruta del Sol on 14th February despite calls for the rider to withdraw from racing until the situation surrounding his adverse analytical finding for salbutamol is resolved.

Team Sky announced on its website that the four-time Tour de France champion would take to the start line of the five-day stage race after completing an extensive training block in South Africa in January.

This goes against widespread calls for Froome to withdraw from competition while investigations into his AAF for salbutamol continue.

Many have suggested that as the 32-year-old is such an important name in cycling, it would benefit the image of the sport if he decided to not race until a decision had been made by the UCI, subsequently saving the rider, his team and the sport from further embarrassment if the rider is handed a backdated ban.

Among those vocal about the situation has been Mauro Vegni, race organiser of the Giro d'Italia. Vegni has continually stated that he would need a guarantee from the UCI that any race results from Froome would stand if he was to start the race, as expected, in May.

Both Froome and team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford decided to ignore these calls in their official press release with both calling for a swift resolution to the issue.

'Obviously I understand that this situation has created a lot of uncertainty. I completely get why there has been so much interest and speculation,' Froome told the Team Sky website.
'I hope that people will appreciate there are limits to what I can say whilst the process is still ongoing but no one is keener than me to move things forward as quickly as possible.'
Brailsford added, 'It is a complex situation but we’re working as hard as we can with Chris to resolve things as soon as possible.'
Froome last race the Ruta del Sol in 2015, taking a stage victory on his way to overall victory.