09 November 2020

Chris Froome awarded Vuelta Espana trophy nine years after second place finish

Chris Froome has been awarded the 2011 Vuelta Espana trophy, nine years after originally finishing second in the Spanish Grand Tour.

The 35-year-old Brit announced himself on the world stage when he claimed the runner-up spot to Juan Jose Cobo at the Vuelta, a performance which would eventually lead to him winning four Tour de France titles, the Giro d’Italia and the 2017 Vuelta.

But last year the UCI revealed that Cobo, who beat Froome by 13 seconds, had been found guilty of a doping violation based on his biological passport data, meaning Froome was crowned the new champion.

Cobo originally won the race by 13 seconds from Froome (Imago/PA Images)

And after Primoz Roglic clinched the 2020 title on Sunday, Froome was handed the 2011 trophy nearly a decade after he completed the race.

"It’s a really special victory," he told reporters after the race.

"I have really special memories obviously looking back to this period, but also the way I was told about this victory, when I woke up the day after my big accident last year."

Froome was told he had been awarded the 2011 Vuelta after waking up in hospital following a high-speed crash at the Criterium du Dauphine last summer, which he is still recovering from now.

"I was in ICU still when I was told: ‘Congratulations, you’ve won La Vuelta," he added. "That was a really strange feeling. It was such a special race to me.

"It’s where I first discovered myself as a Grand Tour rider and a GC contender. It gave me confidence to then go on to the Tour de France, to keep targeting Grand Tours. 

"I certainly hope next season I’ll be here in a different capacity."

Froome, who is now technically Britain’s first ever Grand Tour winner as he takes the mantle from 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins, finished 98th in the Vuelta this year as he helped teammate Richard Carapaz to second in the overall classification.

It marks the Kenyan-born rider’s final race for Team Ineos Grenadiers as he moves to Israel Start-Up Nation in a bid to win a fifth Tour de France title.

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