International Cycling

Froome loses time after Vuelta crash

2017-08-31 18:43
Chris Froome (Getty)

Antequera - Chris Froome saw his Vuelta a Espana lead cut to 59 seconds over Vincenzo Nibali after suffering a mechanical problem and crashing towards the end of Thursday's 12th stage.

Froome minimised the damage to his chances of a first Vuelta win by fighting back to finish 20 seconds adrift of the main group of general classification favourites, including Nibali.

"It's never nice to crash like that, but I'm just grateful that I'm not injured and everything is good to go tomorrow," Froome told Spanish TV station Teledeporte.

Poland's Tomasz Marczynski won his second stage of the race as he took the 160.1km ride from Motril to Antequera in a time of 3:56.45 from Spanish duo Omar Fraile and Jose Joaquin Rojas.

Marczynski cashed in as an early 14-rider breakaway was allowed to fight out the stage win.

"It's incredible, it's my dream since I was a kid to win one stage on a big tour alone and today the dream became real," said Marczynski.

Back in the pack, Froome looked perfectly set to maintain his lead until disaster struck just over six kilometres from the finish.

The four-time Tour de France champion was forced to change bike due to a mechanical problem and then hit the floor seconds later as he tried to get back up to speed.

Froome's Sky team-mates Mikel Nieve and Wout Poels helped him limit the damage, but he couldn't bridge the gap back to the Nibali group.

"It's never nice to lose time, but I have a fantastic team around me. I had two team-mates with me all the way to the end," added Froome.

"The Vuelta is not over yet and there are a lot of big days ahead.

"The race is not over until we reach Madrid. I just need to be at my best every day now."

Alberto Contador was the big winner on the day as the three-time Vuelta winner gained 42 seconds on Froome after breaking away from the rest of the chasing group to move up to ninth overall.

However, Contador remains 3 minutes 13 seconds back on Froome overall.

Nibali finished 22sec behind Contador alongside the rest of the riders in the top 10 bar Froome.

Colombia's Esteban Chaves remains third overall, but is now just 2 minutes 13 seconds down on Froome.

Friday's largely flat 13th stage takes the riders 198.4km from Coin to Tomares.

Results from the Vuelta a Espana 12th stage, a 160.1km ride from Motril to Antequera on Thursday:

1. Tomasz Marczynski (POL/LOT) 3hr 56 min 45sec, 2. Omar Fraile (ESP/DDT) at 0:52sec, 3. José Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) 0:52, 4. Pawel Poljanski (POL/BOR) 0:52, 5. Stef Clement (NED/LNL) 0:52, 6. Brendan Canty (AUS/CAN) 1:42, 7. Anthony Perez (FRA/COF) 2:50, 8. Jan Polanc (SLO/EAU) 2:50, 9. Andreas Schillinger (GER/BOR) 2:50, 10. David Arroyo (ESP/CJR) 3:00

Selected:

13. Alberto Contador (ESP/TRE) 7:25, 19. Nicolas Roche (IRL/BMC) 7:47, 23. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 7:47., 32. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 8:07.

Overall standings

1. Christopher Froome (GBR/Sky) 49hr 22min 53sec, 2. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) at 0:59sec, 3. Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI) 2:13, 4. David De la Cruz (ESP/QST) 2:16, 5. Wilco Kelderman (NED/SUN) 2:17, 6. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 2:18, 7. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 2:37, 8. Michael Woods (CAN/CAN) 2:41, 9. Alberto Contador (ESP/TRE) 3:13, 10. Miguel Ángel López (COL/AST) 3:51

Read more on:    vuelta a espana  |  chris froome  |  cycling
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