Vuelta a España

Froome awarded 2011 Vuelta title following Cobo anti-doping violation

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Chris Froome in line for 2011 Vuelta title after Juan Jose Cobo found guilty of doping

Image credit: Reuters

ByMichael Hincks
18/07/2019 at 06:33 | Updated 18/07/2019 at 09:46

Chris Froome has been named 2011 Vuelta a Espana champion eight years on after Juan Jose Cobo did not appeal his doping ban.

The retrospective title means Froome becomes Britain's first-ever winner of a Grand Tour, while Sir Bradley Wiggins is bumped up to second and Netherlands' Bauke Mollema third.

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"The Vuelta in 2011 was in many ways my breakthrough race, so this red jersey is special for me," said Froome in a statement released by Team Ineos on Thursday.

I guess it’s extra special too, because - even though it’s eight years on - it was Britain’s first Grand Tour win. The Vuelta is a race I love and I have always felt a great connection with it and the Spanish fans.

Cobo, who was riding for Geox TMC, finished ahead of then Team Sky duo Froome and Wiggins in the Grand Tour in 2011, but last month the UCI confirmed the Spaniard used a prohibited substance.

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The statement read: “The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the retired rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (Use of a prohibited substance) based on abnormalities from 2009 and 2011 detected in his Biological Passport and imposed a three-year period of ineligibility on the rider.”

Cobo did not take his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within the 30-day period, therefore allowing the UCI to hand Froome his seventh Grand Tour title, as confirmed by the UCI's website below.

Team Ineos' statement on Thursday added: "Team INEOS have acknowledged the UCI’s statement today confirming the sanction of Juan Jose Cobo and the reclassification of Chris Froome as the winner of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana.

Team INEOS welcome the decision by the UCI which underlines their commitment to clean cycling."

"It is particularly good news for Chris after his recent crash and another red jersey for his palmares."

The news of Cobo’s ban comes originally came while Froome was in intensive care after suffering multiple fractures in a high-speed crash.

The Team Ineos rider was flung into a wall by a sudden wind while attempting to blow his nose during a recon ride at the Criterium du Dauphine. He was travelling at 54km/h.

Froome, who was airlifted to hospital for surgery, suffered a fractured right femur, a broken hip, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs. He is not competing in the ongoing Tour de France as the 34-year-old recovers from a horror crash.

Froome's Grand Tour trophy cabinet now includes four Tour de France titles (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017), two Vuelta crowns (2011, 2017) and the 2018 Giro d'Italia.

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The 2011 Vuelta draws Froome level with the seven Grand Tour titles collected by Spaniards Alberto Contador and Miguel Indurain, and Italy's Fausto Coppi.

Belgium's Eddy Merckx leads the table with 11 ahead of Frenchmen Bernard Hinault (10) and Jacques Anquetil (8).

Additional reporting from Reuters

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