Chris Froome gave his first strong indication of rising form in the Vuelta a Espana yesterday as he finished a narrowly defeated second on one of the race’s hardest summit finishes.
The double Tour de France winner attacked some 300 metres from the line on the ultra-steep ascent of Cumbres del Sol, moving past Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin.
For a moment it looked as if the 30-year-old Froome would take his first Tour of Spain stage of 2015, but the Sky rider was finally passed by Dumoulin, who claimed the stage and the overall lead.
“I’m gutted,” an exhausted Froome said afterwards, “I thought I had it for a moment there but Dumoulin is in incredible form, hats off to him, he’s a young rider with a bright future ahead of him.”
Froome said he had ridden “more conservatively at the bottom” – where he was briefly dropped by the field – before moving ahead on the upper slopes of the four-kilometre climb.
“I wanted to save some energy for an effort at the top if I had the legs,” he said. “More than anything I’m just happy I was up there and didn’t lose too much time today.”
Now eighth overall and one minute 18 seconds behind Dumoulin, Froome’s next big challenge will be on Wednesday in Andorra, on the race’s hardest mountain stage.Reuse content