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Froome vows to race on, despite probe

15 Февраля 2018

He needs miles in his legs to prepare for his bigger objectives: the Giro d'Italia, which starts on May 4, and the Tour de France, starting July 7, where he would be chasing a record-equalling fifth victory. "Let's hope it doesn't get that far, but I'm still allowed to race now - so yeah, I don't see why not".

This was the perfect place for Froome to race for the first time since it was revealed he returned an adverse analytical finding for the asthma drug Salbutamol during the 2017 Vuelta a Espana.

Rival riders Vincenzo Nibali and Romain Bardet, as well as the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) David Lappartient have said they believe the British cyclist should take a break from racing until the case has been resolved.

"We've got full knowledge of the situation and we're working closely to resolve the situation".

"It's not going to go any faster if I was sitting at home".

The five-stage Ruta del Sol, which Froome won in 2015, runs until Sunday.

The reputations of both Froome and Team Sky now hinge on whether they are able to satisfy UCI, the sport's governing body, of this.

German Martin said he was "angry" that Froome was not immediately suspended when the adverse test was first made public, before later acknowledging the Briton was not receiving preferential treatment.

"On balance I think it's the right thing to do; for Chris to continue, and us to work in the background to support him and demonstrate there's been no wrongdoing".

Froome's return received some criticism from riders, a little skepticism from the few fans there and a couple of tough questions from reporters; at the Grand Tours all that will be magnified a hundred fold.

Froome risks missing the Tour de France and could lose his Vuelta crown unless he can provide a satisfactory explanation for the failed test during the Spanish race.

Froome announced his intention to ride the Giro in November. In a dusty car park in Mijas, 200 metres from the race start, Froome delivered a steely eyed promise that he would prove his doubters wrong.

'No one wants this resolved more quickly than I do'. "And out of respect for the other riders, he should refrain from racing".

Froome vows to race on, despite probe