Fuglsang upsets favorites to win Criterium du Dauphine

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BRIZON, France — Jakob Fuglsang upset all favorites to become the first Danish rider to win the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday.

The Astana rider attacked on the final climb to the Plateau de Solaison in the French Alps, a grueling 11.3-kilometer (7-mile) ascent at an average gradient of 9.2 percent, to win the 115-kilometer (71.5-mile) stage and leapfrog overnight leader Richie Porte.

Fuglsang beat his Australian rival by 10 seconds thanks to the time bonus awarded to the final stage winner.

“It’s amazing. I don’t know what to say,” Fuglsang said. “Even with (the) jersey I can’t believe it. I’ve been close to the yellow jersey many times in my career. We tried to keep our positions on the general classification and it came down to a big, big fight for the overall victory.”

Fuglsang dropped Ireland’s Dan Martin on the last climb and rode on his own through the final five kilometers, asserting his credentials less than a month before the Tour de France starts.

He will be sharing the Astana leadership with Fabio Aru during the three-week race in July.

“I tried to keep cool all day and without pushing too much, I went for the stage win and I got it all,” he said. “My wife is waiting for a baby. This great victory is for her. There’s still a long way to the Tour but I’m really happy with my condition now. I’ll have to take it easy onto the Tour.”

Three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, who lost ground on the final climb, finished fourth overall, 1 minute and 33 seconds off the pace and just one second behind Martin.

Froome finishes 10th in Ruta del Sol, Wellens wins

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MADRID (AP) Chris Froome finished Spain’s Ruta del Sol race in 10th place behind winner Tim Wellens on Sunday.

The five-stage race in southern Spain was Froome’s first event since the four-time Tour de France winner was found to have failed a doping test at last year’s Spanish Vuelta.

Froome, who denies any wrongdoing, has been ordered to explain to the International Cycling Union why a urine sample he provided at the Spanish Vuelta in September showed a concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol at twice the permitted level.

Wellens, a Belgian rider for Lotto-Soudal, defended his lead over the final day’s time trial.

Wout Poels, of Froome’s Sky Team, was second at eight seconds behind.

Froome, who won the event in 2015, finished 1 minute, 57 seconds behind. He started the time trial on the final day in 14th after a puncture toward the end of Saturday’s fourth stage.

Froome returns to racing despite doping investigation

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MALAGA, Spain (AP) Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome is returning to racing on Wednesday despite being under investigation by cycling’s world governing body for failing a doping test.

Froome is participating in the five-day Ruta del Sol in southern Spain, an event he won in 2015.

“I know I have done nothing wrong, that’s my starting point,” Froome said. “There is a process in place for me to be up to demonstrate that, and that’s obviously what I intend to do.”

Froome has been ordered to explain to the International Cycling Union why a urine sample he provided at the Spanish Vuelta in September showed a concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol at twice the permitted level.

He said he has received a lot of support from other riders so far, and that he is trying to solve the issue as fast as possible.

“I do believe that when all the facts are out there I think people will see it from my point of view,” Froome said.

If found guilty of doping, the British rider could lose his Vuelta title and be suspended for a long period.