Froome Wins Stage 9 at Vuelta a Espana
Team Sky Pro Cycling's Tour de France champion Chris Froome earlier today won stage 9 of the 2017 Vuelta - a 174 kilometer ride along the Levante coast from Orihuela to Cumbre del Sol. The stage route was flat with an uphill finale and was contested under hot summer conditions.
Team Orica-Scott's Estaban Chaves finished in 2nd position and Michael Woods took third for his Cannondale-Drapac team.
The early break had no chance of surviving all the way to the finish line of today's stage and the two riders remaining from the original breakaway group were caught with 4.5 kilometer to go. Team Sky Pro Cycling held the peloton under control and set a high pace as the peloton reached the final climb and only Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) tried to challenge their dominance with an attack, but alas he was unsuccessful.
As the general classification leaders and contenders hit the final kilometer, Froome's team colleague Mikel Nieve pulled off and the Brit put in a big attack. Only Chaves and Woods could follow Froome's surge initially, but both lost contact in the final 300 meters. Wearing the red race leader's jersey, Froome crossed the finish line first, victorious in today's stage.
"That was just incredible today the way it panned out and the way my teammates rode in the final to set it up as well, it's just fantastic. It’s such a good feeling to get to the end of this first block with the red jersey and also a decent gap on the rest of the general classification rivals," Froome told Roadcycling.com.
"(This same finish two years ago) was still on my mind this morning. We watched the scenes from two years ago over and over on the team bus this morning just to calculate the climb and know when the right moment to push was. Again the legs felt great today and it just feels good to be in this position."
"I saw Chaves coming in the last 300 meters and I thought it was going to happen again, like with Dumoulin two years ago. I just thought I can’t let it happen again, so I put everything I had into the last few hundred meters," Froome explained.
"I didn't get the win. I lost to 2 better men, but I'm proud to be and proud of my Cannondale-Drapac teammates and all the staff with Slipstream Sports today. Much love," third place finisher Woods said.
"Team is showing its true grit when things are tough and discouraging. Bravo," Cannondale-Drapac team manager told Roadcycling.com following the announcement that the American professional road cycling team will close at the end of this season if the team fails to find an additional sponsor with immediate effect.
Monday is a Vuelta a Espana rest day.
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