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Chris Froome and Dave Brailsford defiant as Team Sky rider returns

• Froome racing for first time since news of failed drug test broke
• ‘I’m 100% confident he didn’t break the rules,’ says Brailsford

Chris Froome and the Team Sky principal, Dave Brailsford, presented a united and defiant front as the four‑times Tour de France winner raced for the first time since his failed drugs test last year became public knowledge.

Froome was warmly received by crowds gathered on a palm-tree lined road in Granada, southern Spain, to witness a solid start to the Ruta del Sol, his debut race in a season during which controversy promises to reign. The 32-year-old rider insisted he will compete at the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France – where public reaction may be tepid or worse – even if his anti‑doping case, which has rumbled on for almost five months, remains unresolved.

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