Froome moves a minute clear in La Vuelta

Clyde Nash
September 4, 2017

However, Froome is bearing down on a historic feat as only the third rider to win the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same year, with just one week to go till the finale in Madrid.

Nibali had attacked on the climb, but was caught and overtaken by Froome.

Colombian Astana rider Lopez arrived alone at the 2,510m summit of the Alto Hoya de la Mora after overtaking Briton Adam Yates in the final kilometres.

"I wanted to be fearless and see what would happen behind me, but Sky has a very powerful group and it was complicated", Contador said. But it didn't pay off as Froome got help from Sky teammates Mikel Nieve and Wout Poels to keep Nibali in sight - and then reeled the Italian back before beating him to the finish line.

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Race favorite Froome had a mechanical issue with around eight km remaining in the 160.1 km (99 miles) stage from Motril to Antequera Los Dolmones and was forced to change bikes.

If stage 16 is all down to Froome, stage 15 was as much about his supporting cast, with Team Sky's domestiques giving their leader unstinting support on the short but punishing 129.5km stage from Alcala la Real. "The Vuelta is not over and we will go forward step by step". "We have seen everything at this Vuelta. crashes, attacks".

"Again a really big thank you to my team for the work they did today".

Triple stage victor on the Tour de France, Majka had already picked the color last weekend, but he had failed in 3rd place at the 8th step.

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Russia's Ilnur Zakarin came second, 36 seconds behind, with Dutchman Wilco Kelderman third and Froome coming in fifth.

Monday is the second rest day for the three-week race, which heads north on Tuesday with an individual time trial.

Majka ensured he was part of the 10-man breakaway that formed a spearhead roughly midway though the stage, but that bunch had been whittled down to just six or so at the penultimate climb, a category-two mountain about 30 kilometres from the finish.

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