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Froome to begin his 2018 season at the Ruta del Sol

Froome will begin his 2018 season at the Ruta del Sol. Credit: PA

Chris Froome will begin his 2018 season at the Ruta del Sol later this month, Team Sky have announced.

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."

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Froome seeking to win all three Grand Tour titles

Froome is bidding for a third straight Grand Tour title in the 2018 Giro d'Italia. Credit: PA

Chris Froome will bid to achieve "something special" and claim a third straight Grand Tour title by riding in the 2018 Giro d'Italia, it was confirmed on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Team Sky leader won a fourth Tour de France title in July before adding the Vuelta a Espana.

Now Froome is seeking to be the winner of all three Grand Tours at the same time when the 101st Giro d'Italia event starts from Israel in May.

He said in a statement on teamsky.com: "It's really exciting to be able to take on a new challenge, to do something that perhaps people wouldn't expect and to mix it up. It's a whole new motivation for me to see if I can pull off something special next year."

Froome heading to Road World Championships

Froome recently won the Vuelta and the Tour de France. Credit: PA

La Vuelta winner Chris Froome will compete in the time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Norway next week, British Cycling has announced.

Froome, fresh from completing a rare Tour de France-Vuelta double in Madrid at the weekend, will not take part in the road race in Bergen. But he will take one of Britain's two places in the time trial, with reigning British champion Steve Cummings getting the other.

The men's time trial in Bergen on Wednesday, September 20 will be contested over a 31-kilometre course which features one significant climb up Mount Floyen at the finish. Froome's main rivals are expected to be Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin of Holland and the reigning world time trial champion Tony Martin of Germany.

There is no space for Mark Cavendish in Britain's nine-man squad for the men's road race as the Manxman continues his recovery from the shoulder injury which ended his Tour de France in July, while Geraint Thomas is also absent after a testing season which saw him crash out of both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France.

Instead, the team will features two Olympic gold medallists on the track - Owain Doull and Pete Kennaugh - along with Adam Blythe, Mark Christian, Jon Dibben, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Scott Thwaites.

Former world champion Lizzie Deignan is fit to lead the women's team following an appendectomy, and will be supported by Hannah and Alice Barnes, Elinor Barker, Dani King, Mel Lowther and Hayley Simmonds.

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