Vuelta a España: Chris Froome victorious on Cumbre del Sol
Aug 27 2017 06:08 pm CET

Vuelta a España: Chris Froome victorious on Cumbre del Sol
Vuelta a España: Chris Froome victorious on Cumbre del Sol
Photo of Chris Froome © Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

Chris Froome has won the ninth stage of the 2017 Vuelta a España, delivering a strong performance to beat Esteban Chaves and Michael Woods on the Cumbre del Sol.

The ninth stage of the Spanish race started in Orihuela and finished 174 kilometers later on top of the Cumbre del Sol. This climb was first featured in the 2015 Vuelta, with Tom Dumoulin taking his first grand tour stage win ahead of Froome.

After about an hour of cycling, a group of ten riders had an advantage of almost three minutes on the pack.

Part of the climb leading up to the Cumbre del Sol had to be completed twice, with the top of the first ascent at 42 kilometers from the finish line. At this point, the lead group had been reduced to just Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ) and Ricardo Vilela (Manzana Postobon).

Movistar's Marc Soler also managed to bridge to the front group and went on to leave most of those in the group behind, with the exception of Ludvigsson.

The gap with the group of favorites was less than half a minute however by the time the two leaders reached the foot of the ascent, and they were eventually caught a kilometer later.

Movistar's Richard Carapaz momentarily tried his strength against some of the world's best climbers and not much later it was Romain Bardet to do so.

Froome waited a little longer to put his cards on the table but once he did, he immediately created a gap with his rivals. Trek-Segafredo's Alberto Contador tried to close the gap with the Briton but Froome's strength was too much for the Spaniard to keep up with.

Froome did slow down a little on the final stretch of the climb, allowing Orica-Scott's Esteban Chaves and Cannondale-Drapac's Michael Woods to close the gap.

But the two chasers had spent all of their energy trying to chase the man in the Red Jersey, and Froome accelerated again in the last minute to take a win where he couldn't in 2015.

Chaves took second place at four seconds from Froome and Woods came in third at another second.

Team Sunweb's Wilco Kelderman delivered a strong performance and finished fourth at eight seconds, accompanied by Katusha-Alpecin's Ilnur Zakarin.

In the overall classification, Froome extends his lead and now has 36 seconds on Chaves. Nicolas Roche remains in third place at 1'05" from the Red Jersey.




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