8 Sep 2017

Froome stays out in front in La Vuelta

7:25 am on 8 September 2017

British cyclist Chris Froome has extended his lead in La Vuelta a Espana while Belgian Sander Armee took victory on Stage 18.

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Photo: Supplied

A day after losing 42 seconds to Italian Vincenzo Nibali on the imposing ramps of Los Machucos, Britain's Froome broke clear of the depleted peloton 600 metres from the summit finish, with only Spaniard Alberto Contador and Canadian Michael Woods able to stick with him.

The Team Sky rider took 21 seconds from Bahrain-Merida's Nibali, moving his lead out to one minute 37 seconds with two tests to come before Sunday's parade into Madrid.

Dutchman Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) sits third, 2:17 down adrift and 12 seconds ahead of Russian Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) in fourth.

Trek- Segafredo's three-time Vuelta winner Contador, in his final professional race, is fifth, 3:34 behind Froome.

Froome is bidding to become the first rider to win the Tour de France and La Vuelta in the same year since 1978.

Lotto-Soudal's Armee and Astana's Lutsenko were the final survivors of a 20-man breakaway as they came to the final climb at the end of the 169km stage from Suances.

Lutsenko, on paper, was the better climber, but the Kazakhstani did not have the legs on his 25th birthday as Belgium's Armee rode clear with 700m left to win by 31 seconds.

Tomorrow's 149.7km stage will take the rides from the Parque Natural de Redes to Gijon.

- Reuters.