2/5/2018 2:56:31 PM

Froome to start season in Spain under doping cloud

Froome to start season in Spain under doping cloud

London: Chris Froome will begin his 2018 season at this month's Ruta del Sol, Team Sky announced on Monday, with the British rider "confident" there will be progress on a probe into an adverse doping test.

Froome will be part of Team Sky's line-up for the five-day stage race in Andalusia, southern Spain, which runs from February 14 to 18.

He last raced the Ruta del Sol in 2015, when he took overall victory and picked up a stage win along the way.

Froome will line up in Spain after spending the early part of the year training in South Africa.

"I have put in a hard training block in January," said Froome. "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."

Froome and Team Sky revealed in December that the 32-year-old had tested for elevated levels of the asthma medication salbutamol during last year's Vuelta a Espana.

The team said they were providing information to cycling's governing body the UCI over the matter. The UCI process is ongoing.

"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," said Froome.

"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."

Team principal Dave Brailsford said it was important for all sides that the process was conducted fairly before a final conclusion is reached.

"It is a complex situation but we're working as hard as we can with Chris to resolve things as soon as possible," he said.

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