Froome awarded 2011 Vuelta title following Cobo doping case

Juan Jose Cobo

Cobo finished in first place at the 2011 Vuelta, with Bradley Wiggins (left) in third and Chris Froome (right) in second

Chris Froome has officially been named winner of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana after Juan Jose Cobo was stripped of the title over doping irregularities.

It retrospectively makes him Britain’s first Grand Tour winner – Sir Bradley Wiggins had held the honour after his 2012 Tour de France victory.

Froome has now won seven Grand Tours, fourth equal on the all-time list.

He is not riding in the ongoing Tour de France after a serious crash at last month’s Criterium du Dauphine.

Froome’s haul of Grand Tour wins is now made up of four Tours de France, two Vueltas and a Giro d’Italia.

He is alongside Italy’s Fausto Coppi and Spaniards Alberto Contador and Miguel Indurain as a seven-time Grand Tour winner.

Belgium’s Eddy Merckx leads the way with 11, one ahead of France’s Bernard Hinault, while fellow Frenchman Jacques Anquetil has eight.

Governing body the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) said abnormalities were found in Spanish rider Cobo’s biological passport from 2009-2011.

They imposed a three-year period of ineligibility on the 38-year-old retired rider and Cobo has not appealed in the 30 days since the decision, meaning Froome has now been awarded the title.

Fellow Briton Wiggins has been promoted to second in the 2011 Vuelta, with Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands third.

The Vuelta a Espana is one of the three Grand Tours – the three-week stage races considered to be cycling’s crown jewels – along with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.

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