• Chris Froome was the focus of a media crush. (Getty)Source: Getty
Chris Froome emerged unscathed after weathering the Vuelta a Andalucía Ruta Ciclista Del Sol pre-race storm over his racing status and finishing with the peloton after Thomas Boudat took the stage win.
Cycling Central

15 Feb 2018 - 8:43 AM  UPDATED 15 Feb 2018 - 1:43 PM

Boudet (Direct Energie) won the bunch sprint at the end of the 197.6km stage from Mijas to Granada ahead of Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac-Cannondale) and Clément Venturi (AG2R).

But it was Froome who mattered more to the assembled media as he restated his intention to ride in the Giro d'Italia and defend his Tour de France title in 2018, even if an investigation into the excessive use of Salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta a España continues deep into the season.

Froome and Sky are fighting a possible suspension, on which could also cost him his Vuelta title and force him out of the Giro and perhaps the Tour.

"I hope it doesn't get that far but I'm still allowed to race now and I don't see why not," Froome said. "This is a process that a lot of other riders have gone through, I don't see why I should have different treatment to all of them.

"They were all racing in the meantime until they got to the end of their processes.

"It's not going to go any faster if I was sitting at home. We're going as fast as we can on it and hopefully get it resolved as soon as possible."