Chris Froome, who has spent the early part of the year training in South Africa, will begin his 2018 season at the Ruta del Sol, having being named as part of Team Sky’s lineup for the five-day stage race in Andalucia, which runs from February 14th -18th.
Froome last raced the Ruta del Sol in 2015 when he took the overall victory and picked up a stage win along the way. Sportnation odds suggest he will be odds on to win another title in South Africa
Ahead of his first race of the year, the Kenyan-born Briton said:
“I have put in a hard training block in January. It’s been good to be out on my bike and to get the miles under my belt.
“It’s been a couple of years now since I was last at Ruta del Sol. It’s a race I’ve enjoyed in the past and so I’m looking forward to going back there.”
Team Sky confirmed in December that Froome and the team were providing information to the UCI regarding the team leader’s use of his asthma medication at last year’s Vuelta a Espana.
Discussing the issue, Froome stated:
“I’m confident that we will be able to get to the bottom of what has happened and I’m working hard with the team to do that.
“Obviously I understand that this situation has created a lot of uncertainty. I completely get why there has been so much interest and speculation.
“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.”
“I know I haven’t done anything wrong and I intend to show that,” Froome, who suffers from asthma, said. The Guardian and the French newspaper Le Monde revealed the failed test in December and Froome admitted he would have preferred the adverse finding had remained a private matter while protestations were made.
“There are a lot of other athletes and riders who have been through this process and I’m not asking for the benefit of the doubt here,” he said. “I’m just asking for a fair process, to be treated the same as other people.”
“Nobody’s denying it’s a challenging situation but equally I think it’s only fair at this point that everybody abides by the process, and the process totally allows him to race in this situation and that’s what we’re doing,” Brailsford said.
The five-day Ruta del Sol begins next Wednesday.