Chris Froome (Team Sky) took his first stage win of the Vuelta a España yesterday at the top of Peña Cabarga, where he outsprinted his leading rival for overall victory, Colombia’s Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Quintana retained his leader’s red jersey and a 54-second lead over the three-times Tour de France champion as Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) finished third on the stage, six seconds adrift, and retained the same place overall, 1:05 behind his team leader.
A large breakaway of 23 riders had gotten clear early on but at the foot of the final climb, the peloton was on its heels. The stage was then reduced to a 6-km uphill race with Quintana’s Movistar leading the pack. Up front, Ben Hermans (BMC Racing) and Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale) were the last men standing from the break but they were reeled in one after the other before and after the 3-km mark.
With 1.7 km to go, Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) launched the hostilities, but while Leopold König worked to lead Froome out, it was Quintana who attacked at the 700 metres mark. The Briton responded 100 metres further up and while they both passed Chaves, the two strong men in this Vuelta declared a ceasefire until the final stretch, when Froome logically outpowered Quintana to take the stage honours.
Here are onboard highlights from the stage.