Vuelta: Chris Froome wins stage 17

Kenyan born Brit Chris Froome has enhanced his reputation even further with a glorious victory on stage 17 and in the process, cut the lead of Jose Cobo to just 13 seconds.

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The 211 kilometre stage to the mountain-top finish at Pena Cabarga was just the ticket for Froome to have a go at taking the race lead back from Cobo and he gave it everything and almost succeeded. Prior to the start of the stage, Froome was just 22 seconds behind Cobo after having dropped a few seconds the day before after a chaotic finish.

With the steep slopes of the final climb a perfect spring board for an all out assault on Cobo, Team Sky and Froome took the race to the Spanish rider Cobo with Froome winning his first Grand Tour stage. The prize he was after though was the leader’s jersey and for a while it appeared as though he was going to ride away from Cobo. The race leader however fought back to Froome who then countered again to win the stage.

He said afterwards on the Team Sky website, “That was one of the hardest days on the bicycle in my life. It was the last mountain-top finish so we came in here trying to do as much as we could – but Cobo was extremely strong again and is still holding the red jersey. The whole team have been fantastic throughout this race – they’ve done absolutely everything for me and Bradley.”

“The hardest stages are now over but we’ll still go out there in the final four days of the race and look to make it hard for Cobo.”

Steven de Jongh, Team Sky Sports Director: “It was a really good day. The goal we had was to defend what we had in terms of the GC and then try and have a go for the stage win, so yes, everything worked out perfectly. Froomey found his legs on that final kilometre and for a minute it looked like he had cracked Cobo. Fair play to Cobo for battling back, but he made a bit of a mistake on that last corner by leaving a hole on the inside and Froomey timed his moment brilliantly to sneak through and take the win.”

“Although we’re all so happy for Froomey, it’s going to be hard to pull 13 seconds back now. Putting some time in at the end of the stages is going to be our goal now I think.”

Froome came into the Tour of Spain to support Bradley Wiggins, and despite playing that role, has found himself vying for the lead of this Grand Tour with a number of great rides such as the one in the time trial and the other up the climb of Angliru. Today however topped them with an awesome stage victory and who knows what this attacking rider is capable of in the coming stages.

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Stage 17
1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     4:52:38
2. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC     0:00:01
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team     0:00:21
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo     0:00:24
5. Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi     0:00:27
6. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team     0:00:29
8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto     0:00:31
9. Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC
10. Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team     0:00:35

12. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling     0:00:39
15. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale     0:00:51
17. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale     0:01:02
23. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team     0:02:14

1. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMC     69:31:41
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     0:00:13
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling     0:01:41
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team     0:02:05
5. Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC     0:03:48
6. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek     0:04:13
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale     0:04:31
8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto     0:04:45
9. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team     0:05:20
10. Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi     0:05:33

14. Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo     0:07:22
17. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale     0:10:31

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