Chris Froome finished in 10th place at the Ruta del Sol on his return to racing, as Belgium’s Tim Wellens claimed overall victory in southern Spain on Sunday.
Froome has dominated the attention on the event in Andalusia, as the Team Sky rider competes for the first time since the revelation of his abnormal doping test at last year’s Vuelta a Espana.
But the four-time Tour de France winner only just scraped into the top 10 after the final stage, a 14.2km individual time-trial around Barbate, near Cadiz.
Froome’s Sky team-mate David de la Cruz of Spain won the stage in a time of 17min 11sec, while the 32-year-old Briton was 11th on the day after finishing 27sec adrift.
Froome, whose general classification hopes were ended by a puncture on Saturday’s penultimate stage, ended 1min 57sec behind overall winner Wellens, of the Lotto-Soudal team.
Another of Froome’s Sky colleagues, Dutchman Wout Poels, came second overall.
With cycling’s governing body, the UCI, yet to rule on the doping case, Froome is set to continue his season at next month’s week-long Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy.
Ruta del Sol standings
Fifth and final stage
1. David de la Cruz (ESP/Sky) 17:11, 2. Andrey Amador (CRC/Movistar) at 0:06, 3. Stef Clement (NED/LottoNL-Jumbo) at 7sec, 4. Alexis Gougeard (FRA/AG2R-La Mondiale) at 8sec, 5. Marc Soler (ESP/Movistar) at 9sec
1. Tim Wellens (BEL/Lotto-Soudal) 17:41:50, 2. Wout Poels (NED/Sky) at 0:08, 3. Marc Soler (ESP/Movistar) at 27sec, 4. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/Astana) at 30sec, 5. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/Astana) same time
10. Chris Froome (GBR/Sky) at 1:57
– Agence France-Presse