Chris Froome (Team Ineos) will now be named as the winner of the 2011 Vuelta a España, according to reports from Spanish newspaper AS, after Juan José Cobo – who was crowned the winner of the race in September 2011 – apparently chose not to appeal against cycling governing body the UCI’s announcement last month that Cobo was “guilty of an anti-doping rule violation”.
The now-retired Spanish rider, riding then for Geox-TMC, beat Froome by just 13 seconds, with Froome’s then Team Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins taking third place, 1:39 down on Cobo. But on June 13, 2019, the UCI announced that Cobo was “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 [the UCI has] imposed a three-year period of ineligibility on the rider”.
Cobo was given a month to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but, according to AS, the 38-year-old has chosen not to appeal – which should now mean that Froome is announced as the 2011 Vuelta winner.
Although that announcement is yet to have been made official by the UCI, a number of media outlets have pointed out that Froome has already been listed as the winner in the overall results for the race on the governing body’s website. In addition, Cobo is also listed as a disqualified rider.
It will mean that four-time Tour de France winner Froome – who is not riding this year’s Tour after crashing at the Critérium du Dauphiné stage race in June, and fracturing his hip, femur, elbow and neck – will have won seven Grand Tours, and will have also officially become the first British Grand Tour winner, pre-dating Wiggins’ 2012 Tour de France win.
The amended results bring Wiggins up to second overall at the 2011 Vuelta, while Bauke Mollema – currently riding the Tour de France for Trek-Segafredo – moves up to take third place and the final spot on the podium.
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