Froome storms to time trial victory as he closes in on Vuelta

Tour de France champion Chris Froome's overall Vuelta lead now stands at almost two minutes

Posted: Sep. 5, 2017 8:00 am Updated: Sep.

Chris Froome lost some of his Spanish Vuelta lead in a brutal climb that challenged riders in a 17th stage won by Stefan Denifl of Austria on Wednesday.

Froome still holds a 1:16 advantage over Bahrain-Merida's Nibali, with the Team Sky rider aiming to become the third rider to win the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same year.

Team Sky's Froome had strengthened his group on the overall lead yesterday, when he triumphed in the individual time trial.

Nibali - who had begun the day 1:01 back on Froome - was a further 28sec back; the Italian dropping to 1:58 in the overall. "There were a lot of big attacks today, but they stayed with me and controlled the speed", Froome said. "That's an awesome feeling to extend my lead".

Britain can choose from a 13-man long list which includes current British road and time trial champion Steve Cummings, and former world champion Mark Cavendish, who is participating in the Tour of Britain this week in a bid to prove his fitness after the shoulder injury which ended his Tour de France on stage four.

This display recalled Froome's sensational performance in the 2011 time trial at the Vuelta, where he stunned team leader Bradley Wiggins by taking the red jersey in Salamanca.

The 2017 Vuelta a Espana has provided some exciting racing and with it some fantastic images from the stages to date.

"I planned the season to race less earlier on and do a specific training camp for the Vuelta after the Tour and it is paying off".

Three-time Vuelta victor Alberto Contador, who is retiring from cycling after this year's Vuelta, thrived in the final climb to earn a second-place finish. "We will see what we can do". "There are many hard stages to go".

The Vuelta ends Sunday in Madrid.

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