Does somebody need a hug?
Pretty much everyone in cycling has pleaded with Chris Froome (Team Sky) to voluntarily suspend himself from racing until there’s a legal resolution on the adverse analytical finding for the asthma medication salbutamol.
That chorus of beggars includes the head of the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and the president of the UCI, David Lappartient. Just the other day, cyclingnews journalist Jeremy Whittle wrote an opinion piece suggesting Froome take himself out of competition for the good of the sport. He argued that Froome needed show show some ethical and moral concern for the good heath of the sport.
However, Joaquin Cuevas isn’t in that camp. The race director of the Ruta Del Sol is thrilled to have the current Tour and Vuelta winner on the start line, saying it’s a “pleasure and an honor.”
Back in 2015, Froome won the Ruta Del Sol, alternately known as the Vuelta a Andalucia, and Cuevas is more than happy to see him return. Really, he doesn’t have much of a choice but his whole-hearted and enthusiastic embrace of Froome does grab everyone’s attention. Our guess is that in Cuevas’ world, a star is a star and far more important than any of the dark clouds overhead.
Froome will also return to the mountain stage and summit finish on the Alto de Las Allanadas where he beat Alberto Contador and sealed his overall victory. While Froome holds the entire sport hostage, he can take on all comers in this Spanish stage race. We guess you could call that multi-tasking.
Cuevas was positively nostalgic about Froome returning to Ruta Del Sol. “Three years later the race will be back on that climb and once again Froome will be with us.” We suppose that with races struggling to survive financially, it’s a boon to have the Briton on hand, no matter how compromised or how many riders in the peloton wish he wasn’t pinning on a number.
The race director noted that Froome is free to compete “because the UCI hasn’t taken any decisions yet about his case.” Is Cuevas trying to sound happy about that or is it a my-hands-are-tied statement?
Sure sounds like Cuevas is overjoyed. That makes him quite a cycling minority.