Chris Froome finishes 10th as Wellens wins Ruta

Chris Froome finishes 10th as Wellens wins Ruta

The four-time Tour de France champion only just scrapes into the top 10 after the final stage drama.

Chris Froome finished 10th at the Ruta del Sol on his return to competitive racing, as Belgium’s Tim Wellens claimed overall victory in southern Spain on Sunday.

Froome has dominated the attention on the event in Andalusia, as the Team Sky rider competes for the first time since the revelation of his abnormal doping test at 2017’s Vuelta a Espana tour.

But the four-time Tour de France winner only just scraped into the top 10 after the final stage, a 14.2km individual time-trial around Barbate, near Cadiz.

Froome’s Sky team-mate David de la Cruz of Spain won the final stage in 17min 11sec, while the 32-year-old Briton was 11th on the day after finishing 27sec adrift.

Froome, whose general classification hopes were ended by a puncture on Saturday’s penultimate stage, ended 1min 57sec behind overall winner Wellens, of the Lotto-Soudal team.

Another of Froome’s Sky colleagues, Dutchman Wout Poels, came second overall.

With cycling’s governing body, the UCI, yet to rule on the doping case, Froome is set to continue at March’s week-long Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy.

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