Chris Froome (Team Ineos) has been confirmed as the winner of the 2011 Vuelta a España, giving him a total of seven Grand Tour victories, after Juan José Cobo – who was crowned the winner of the race in September 2011 – chose not to appeal against the UCI ruling last month that Cobo was "guilty of an anti-doping rule violation" related to Biological Passport data.
Froome is currently recovering from his Critérium du Dauphiné crash, but was keen to celebrate becoming the first British rider of a Grand Tour. Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France a few months after finishing on the Vuelta a Espana podium but Froome now precedes him in the record books.
"Better late than never! The 2011 La Vuelta holds some very special memories for me," Froome said via social media.
He also spoke via Team Inoes, who welcomed the decision from the UCI, suggesting it "underlines their commitment to clean cycling."
"The Vuelta in 2011 was in many ways my breakthrough race, so this red jersey is special for me," Froome said via Team Ineos.
"I guess it’s extra special too, because - even though it’s eight years on - it was Britain’s first Grand Tour win. The Vuelta is a race I love and I have always felt a great connection with it and the Spanish fans."
Cobo, riding then for Geox-TMC, beat Froome by just 13 seconds, with Wiggins taking third place, 1:39 down on Cobo. On June 13, 2019, the UCI announced that Cobo was "guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (use of a prohibited substance) based on abnormalities from 2009 and 2011 detected in his Biological Passport and [the UCI has] imposed a three-year period of ineligibility on the rider".
Cobo was given a month to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but, according to AS, the 38-year-old has chosen not to appeal.
The amended results bring Wiggins up to second overall at the 2011 Vuelta, while Bauke Mollema – currently riding the Tour de France for Trek-Segafredo – moves up to take third place and the final spot on the podium.