Chris Froome's case is 'a heavy blow' says Vuelta a Espana director Guillen

Vuelta a España director Javier Guillén has described Chris Froome‘s adverse analytical finding (AAF) for salbutamol in last year’s race as a “heavy blow” and says he hopes the case will be resolved soon.

“We just hope it is sorted out soon,” Guillen told Cyclingnews after the presentation of the Vuelta route for 2018 on Saturday in the southern city of Estepona. “It’s concerning. We can’t take any part in it, either in favour or against, obviously, but as the curtain goes up on the 2018 season, we need some certainty. And the sooner the better.”

Speaking later to the Spanish news agency EFE, Guillén described the news of Froome’s AAF as a “heavy blow.”


The UCI has revealed that Froome returned an AAF at the 2017 Vuelta a España for twice the permissible dose of the asthma medication salbutamol. The test took place September 7 following stage 18 of the Vuelta, a race which Froome won overall.

In terms of the 2018 route, Guillén acknowledged to Cyclingnews that “the opening section is a bit easier than last year. But it hasn’t lost the essence of what the first Vuelta week is, with three summit finishes in the opening nine days. But I’d say the decisive part of the race is pretty much the same, even if there are three summit finishes in the second weekend.”

Summit finishes at La Camperona, Praeres and Lagos de Covadonga feature on stages 13, 14, and 15, which is a tougher combination than in the 2017 Vuelta, which had the Sierra de la Pandera and Sierra Nevada summit finishes at an equivalent point in the race.

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