Calar Alto - Chris Froome tightened his grip on the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday
with an eye-catching second to Colombia's Miguel Angel Lopez in the
mountainous 11th stage.
Astana rider Lopez secured the biggest win
of his career when he burst clear of a breakaway group in the closing
two kilometres of the challenging 187.5km ride from Lorca to the summit
finish in Calar Alto.
"I'm very happy, the rain made the stage
difficult, but the team worked very well," said the 23-year-old Lopez,
participating in just his second Grand Tour.
"I was familiar with the climb and I preferred to wait to attack a kilometre or a kilometre and a half from the finish."
hoping to add this to his triumph in this season's Tour de France,
crossed in second, 14 seconds adrift, to retain the overall leader's red
jersey and extend his lead to 1:19.
happy with the outcomes from today. It was a very selective day for the
GC. To finish second, I couldn't ask for much more than that," said
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali took third, lifting him into second above Colombian Esteban Chaves in the overall standings.
big loser on the day's ride in rain was Ireland's Nicolas Roche, who
started the day 36 seconds behind Froome but ended it staring at a 4:45
deficit, dropping him from third to 11th in the general classification.
Froome is aiming to become only the third man to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year.
Thursday's 12th stage is a 160km ride from Motril to Antequera featuring a first and second category climb.
Results from Wednesday's 11th stage of the Vuelta a Espana, a 187.5km ride from Lorca to Calar Alto:
Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) 5hr 05min 09sec, 2. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY)
at 14sec, 3. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 0:14, 4. Wilco Kelderman
(NED/SUN) 0:14, 5. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 0:31, 6. Alberto Contador
(ESP/TRE) 0:31, 7. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 0:31, 8. Mikel Nieve
(ESP/SKY) 0:31, 9. Darwin Atapuma (COL/EAU) 1:02, 10. David De la Cruz
15. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST)
1:32, 17. Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI) 2:05, 21. Tejay Van Garderen
(USA/BMC) 3:26, 28. Nicolas Roche (IRL/BMC) 4:17
Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 45hr 18min 01sec, 2. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH)
at 1min 19sec, 3. Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI) 2:33, 4. David De la Cruz
(ESP/QST) 2:36, 5. Wilco Kelderman (NED/SUN) 2:37, 6. Ilnur Zakarin
(RUS/KAT) 2:38, 7. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 2:57, 8. Michael Woods (CAN/CAN)
3:01, 9. Alberto Contador (ESP/TRE) 3:55, 10. Miguel Angel Lopez
11. Nicolas Roche (IRL/BMC) 4:45, 12. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 4:45, 24. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 21:37