THE five-day Vuelta a Andalucia cycling race has begun in Mijas, with Chris Froome carrying Britain’s hopes.
Stage one from Mijas to Granada took the peloton up from the Mediterranean to the foot of the Sierra Nevada.
However, it is Stage two which represents the biggest challenge, with an ascent to the Allanadas summit finish following a constantly challenging climb through the Andalucian mountains.
This is the first test of Froome’s racing season, which has been mired in controversy following his recent failed drugs test.
The remaining stages of the Ruta del Sol go through Herrera, Alcala de los Gazules, and Barbate.
Although the race is missing five time winner Alejandro Valverde as well as Romain Bardet, there is still a stellar cast involved.
This includes Froome’s former teammate Mikel Landa, Steven Kruisjwijk and Jakob Fuglsang.
The last time Froome entered the race in 2015, he won, and he will be aiming to silence his critics once more.