British road racing cyclist Chris Froome will make his first appearance since accusations of doping came to light when he competes in the Vuelta a Andalucía which starts in Mijas on Wednesday.
Despite being currently under investigation after testing positive for salbutamol during the Vuelta a España (which he won), Froome is still eligible to compete in the competition which runs until Sunday 18 February.
This will be his first appearance this campaign and his first appearance in the Andalusian race since his victory in 2015.
Froome has been preparing for the new season in his native South Africa and last Monday his team, Sky, announced that he would be competing in the Vuelta a Andalucía, four months after his last competition. “It's a race I've enjoyed in the past and so I'm looking forward to going back there,” said Froome in a statement published by Team Sky.
He went on to speak about the ongoing investigation into his use of asthma drugs, saying: “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. No one is keener than me to move things forward as quickly as possible.”
The current Tour de France and Vuelta a España winner will be on the startline in Mijas on Wednesday ahead of the nearly 200-kilometre first stage to Granada.
The starting point is on Avenida del Albero in Las Lagunas with racers setting off at 11.30am. The route then passes up to Mijas Pueblo and Alhaurín de la Torre, before joining the A-7 and passing through La Cala del Moral, Rincón de la Victoria, Chilches, Benajarafe, Torre del Mar, Vélez-Málaga and La Viñuela, before heading inland to Granada.
The second phase runs between Otura and La Guardia de Jáen; the third Mancha Real to Herrera; and the fourth Seville to Alcalá de los Gazules. On Sunday, is the final 14.2-kilometre run in Barbate.