Chris Froome to take part in the Ruta del Sol.

Chris Froome
Chris Froome

Chris Froome will begin his season at the Ruta del Sol.

The Tour de France champion will head to the five-day stage race in Andalusia on February 14, Team Sky have announced.

It will be Froome's first appearance since his third-place finish in the time trial at the Road World Championships in Norway on September 20.

That was the day he learned he had returned an adverse analytical finding for the asthma drug salbutamol two weeks before, on his way to victory at the Vuelta a Espana - the second half of last year's historic Grand Tour double, having already won his fourth Tour de France.

Froome and Team Sky are presenting their case to the cycling's governing body, the UCI, about the adverse finding, and Froome said: "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."

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford added: "We all recognise that these are difficult circumstances but it's important for all sides that this process is conducted fairly before a final conclusion is reached.

"It is a complex situation but we're working as hard as we can with Chris to resolve things as soon as possible."

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