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Froome to race in Spain despite calls to withdraw

15 Febrero 2018
Froome to race in Spain despite calls to withdraw

Froome took advantage of hours in the saddle to talk to members of the peloton about his failed test and why he chose to ride here, including a lengthy period riding alongside the Spaniard Mikel Landa, one of his biggest rivals. Lappartient ousted Brian Cookson from the sport's top job on the basis of a five-point plan which included "effective UCI leadership" and "ensuring the credibility of sporting results".

There is no mandatory ban in this type of case and riders usually respond in private, but UCI president David Lappartient has said Team Sky should suspend Froome until the case is resolved.

Chris Froome began his season on Wednesday by confirming he planned to ride in this year's Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, even if an investigation into his positive drugs test was ongoing.

I know I haven't done anything wrong and I intend to show that.

Froome started the race under a cloud of uncertainty as his adverse analytical finding from the 2017 Vuelta a Espana remains unresolved.

On the comparison, Froome states, 'his case was very different, his case was for a banned substance'.

Team principal Dave Brailsford said: "We all recognize that these are difficult circumstances but it's important for all sides that this process is conducted fairly before a final conclusion is reached".

"The support I have received personally has been amazing but there is a lot of misinformation out there and a lot of opinions of people who don't quite fully understand the process", he added.

After speaking to press, Froome then rolled out for the start of the first stage of the Ruta del Sol, a lumpy 197.6km stage from Mijas to Granada. No one wants this resolved more quickly than I do. "What was really touching was how riders from other teams came over to offer their support".

"It's the first race in the build-up to the Giro [d'Italia] now and it's good to be back racing", said the four-time Tour de France champion. But the reaction of other riders suggests that the presence of the four-time Tour de France winner in the five-day race through Andalusia may provoke some resentment in the peloton. Sky has not yet submitted the scientific evidence which might justify Froome's abnormal sample.