Published: Mon, September 04, 2017
Sports | By Grace Becker

Froome extends Vuelta lead, Lopez climbs to second win

Froome extends Vuelta lead, Lopez climbs to second win

Monday is the second rest day of the race, which continues on Tuesday with an individual time trial, where Froome will be looking to strike another blow in his bid to become the first rider in 39 years to win the Tour de France and La Vuelta in the same season.

"It's all small steps at this stage", Froome said about the six seconds he added to his advantage over Nibali, increasing it to 1 minute, 1 second. Then I knew at 10 km to go I needed to go at full gas.

"I'm delighted to have won in Calar Alto and here", said Lopez.

The BORA-hansgrohe rider finished the 175-kilometer (108.7-mile) stage from Ecija to Sierra de La Pandera in 4 hours, 42 minutes, 10 seconds.

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

Now second in the mountains classification behind the Italian Davide Villella, Majka entering the last week with ambition.

Four-time Tour de France victor Froome needed help from two Sky teammates to limit the time lost after he tumbled to the asphalt twice on the stage's descent to the finish line.

Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) at 0:27, 3.

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Froome had bad memories of last year's Vuelta stage 15, when Alberto Contador and eventual victor Nairo Quintana attacked from the starting gun, leaving the Briton isolated from his team and wrecking his bid to win the overall race. I had good legs and Patrick Konrad did a really good job with me in the break. "We have seen everything at this Vuelta. crashes, attacks".

The peloton may regret its inability to apply more pressure on Froome when he showed signs of wavering, but all credit will go to Majka following one of the gutsiest performances witnessed so far in the 2017 Vuelta a Espana.

More brutal climbs await in Sunday's short and steep 129km stage from Alcala la Real to Sierra Nevada with another special category climb to the finish at 2 500m altitude.

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