Chris Froome recovered from two late crashes to retain the red leader’s jersey on stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana, which was won by Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto-Soudal).
In the closing 15 kilometres of the 160.1km stage from Montril to Antequera, Froome was forced to change his bike after a the first crash before falling shortly afterwards on a tight corner. Wout Poels and Mikel Nieve were able to help pace Froome back into contention dropping just 20 seconds to second-placed Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) and 40 seconds to Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) who had initiated an attack shortly before the incident.
“I’m dong fine, I’m just grateful it’s not more serious”, said Froome. “I lost my front wheel in the corner, it was a really dry slippery corner and I just lost my front wheel a bit.
“It’s never good to lose time, but it’s good that it’s 20 seconds and not one minute.
“I had two teammates, Mikel Nieve and Wout Poels with me – they were fantastic and they helped me all the way to the finish and helped me limit my losses.
“I think all in all I’m just grateful I’m not more seriously injured and just lost a bit of skln. We’ll have to see over the next few days of course, sleeping on grazes is never too much fun but I just have to make do now and I’m glad it’s not more serious. It could have been much worse, its never a situation you’d want to be in but things happen in bike racing.”