Chris Froome seventh after stage two of the Ruta del Sol

Cycling


Chris Froome is competing for the first time since September 2017

Chris Froome finished seventh on stage two of the Ruta del Sol, as Team Sky team-mate Wout Poels won the stage.

The four-time Tour de France champion is competing for the first time since his adverse drugs test was made public and admitted he will not be challenging for the title in Spain.

Froome, 32, finished 27 seconds behind Dutchman Poels, with Luis Leon Sanchez in second and Tim Wellens third.

“I’m not feeling my absolute best and it’s my first race,” said Froome.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the 140km stage from Otura to La Guardia de Jaen, he added: “I wasn’t coming here expecting to smash the whole race.”

Wellens broke clear inside the final kilometre but the Belgian faltered on the gruelling climb.

Poels and Spain’s Sanchez fought for the line, with the 30-year-old Dutchman prevailing by two seconds to win the stage and take the overall lead.

Stage two result

1. Wout Poels (Ned/Sky) – 3hrs 38mins 04secs

2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa/Astana) +2secs

3. Tim Wellens (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +2secs

4. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +4secs

5. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana) +4secs

6. Marc Soler (Spa/Movistar) +17secs

7. Chris Froome (GB/Sky) +27secs

8. Mikel Bizkarra (Spa/Euskadi-Murias) +34secs

9. Amaro Antunes (Por/CCC Sprandi Polkowice) +38secs

10. Jelle Vanendert (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +38secs

General classification

1. Wout Poels (Ned/Sky) – 3hrs 38mins 04secs

2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa/Astana) + 2secs

3. Tim Wellens (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +2secs

4. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +4secs

5. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana) +4secs

6. Marc Soler (Spa/Movistar) +17secs

7. Chris Froome (GB/Sky) +27secs

8. Mikel Bizkarra (Spa/Euskadi-Murias) +34secs

9. Amaro Antunes (Por/CCC Sprandi Polkowice) +38secs

10. Jelle Vanendert (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +38secs



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