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July 18, 2019
The UCI has recognised Chris Froome as the winner of the 2011 Vuelta a España, retrospectively making him the first British rider to win a Grand Tour.
Froome originally finished the Spanish Grand Tour in second place behind Spaniard Juan Jose Cobo. However in June 2019, nearly eight years after the race’s conclusion, the UCI announced that Cobo had been found guilty of biological passport abnormalities between 2009 and 2011. The now-retired Cobo was given one month to appeal that verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Spanish newspaper AS reports that Cobo opted not to appeal against the UCI’s ruling, leaving Froome the winner of the race ahead of Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins and Bauke Mollema (Rabobank).
The UCI is yet to officially announce a revision to the overall standings of the 2011 Vuelta, but its website lists Froome as the winner of the race:
Should Froome’s title be confirmed, it will give the now-34-year-old seven career Grand Tour victories: four wins at the Tour de France, two at the Vuelta, and one at the Giro d’Italia. That total would move Froome into equal fourth on the all-time list, alongside Alberto Contador, Miguel Indurain and Fausto Coppi. Only Jaques Anquetil (eight wins), Bernard Hinault (10) and Eddy Merckx (11) sit higher on the list.
Chris Froome is currently recovering from a horrific crash at the Criterium du Dauphine which left him with several broken bones and forced him out of the 2019 Tour de France.