CHAMP: British rider Chris Froome retrospectively handed Vuelta a Espana 2011 title after the original Spanish winner was found guilty of doping

BRITISH cyclist Chris Froome has been retrospectively awarded the Vuelta a Espana 2011 title after its original winner, Spaniard, Juan Jose Cobo, was found guilty of doping.

He is now Britain’s first Grand Tour winner, as the 34-year-old’s victory comes before Sir Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 Tour de France win.

Froome, who placed second in the 2011 Vuelta, is now fourth on the all-time list of Grand Tour victories, having won seven.

However the Team Ineos rider will not be in this year’s Tour de France after suffering a fractured right femur, broken hip, fractured elbow and fractured ribs, from a fall while blowing his nose during the Criterium du Dauphine race.

Celebrating his new victory, Froome said: “Better late than never! The 2011 Vuelta holds some very special memories for me.”

Cobo, 38, was stripped of his title by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) after abnormalities in his biological passport were found, dating to 2009-2011.

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