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Chris Froome handed red jersey from 2011 Vuelta a Espana win

Joe Robinson
22 Aug 2019

Rider eventually given jersey after original champion Juan Jose Cobo stripped for doping

Chris Froome has been officially handed the red jersey from 2011 Vuelta a Espana after retrospectively being awarded the title. Original winner Juan Jose Cobo was stripped of the Grand Tour by the UCI last month after Biological Passport Data showed an 'anti-doping rule violation'.

Cobo had finished 13 seconds ahead of Froome seven years ago to take a shock victory in the Spanish Grand Tour. However, the UCI found that abnormalities in his bio passport between 2009 and 2011 warranted a back-dated suspension and stripping of his results.

Froome accepted the retrospective jersey, emblazoned with the team's previous sponsor Sky, at his home in Monaco, posting a video of the moment and talked about what his first-ever Grand Tour win.

'That race, back in 2011 was incredibly special for me. The race was where I first started to believe in myself as a Grand Tour contender; it was the race where I had my first professional victory. I’ve got some really special memories from that race,' said Froome. 

'It would have been so different had I actually won it back then, being able to stand on the podium in Madrid and really soak up the feeling of winning my first Grand Tour and being the first British rider to ever win a Grand Tour - that would have been an amazing feeling.'

The 34-year-old is currently on the long road to recovery after a horror crash at the Criterium du Dauphine.

Froome crashed while on a recon of the Stage 4 time trial in Roanne, losing control of his bike while attempting to put on a rain jacket.

Reports at the scene suggested Froome was travelling at high speeds when he hit the wall. He then spent 22 days in hospital recovering from injuries that included a broken neck, hip, femur and elbow.

While there is no timeline to Froome's full recovery, he is expected to be back racing in the 2020 season yet whether this will be in time to make a bid at a record-equalling fifth Tour de France yellow jersey is still unknown.