Chris Froome made no mistake on the tough finishing ramp of the Cumbre del Sol on stage nine of the Vuelta, accelerating twice to distance all of his rivals and take a popular stage win in the red jersey.
Two years earlier Froome was pipped to the post on the same finish in Cumbre del Sol, but made no mistake in 2017 as he fought off a late challenge from nearest rival Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), and winning the stage by four seconds.
“That was just incredible today the way it panned out, and the way my team-mates rode in the final to set it up as well – it’s just fantastic”, said Froome.
“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 GC rivals. (This finish two years ago) was still in my mind this morning. We watched the scenes from two years ago over and over on the 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 metres 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 metres. Sometimes, the best form of defence is an attack. I’m really happy to get the victory. After the team did such a good job on the final climb to really make a good pace. Mikel Nieve did a fantastic job, setting such a good pace for me.
“Thank you to all the team. Coming to the first rest day we couldn’t have asked to be in a better position.”