Chris Froome’s hopes of adding the Tour of Spain to his 2015 Tour de France – a rare double indeed – were dealt an early setback when he came home seventh in the first meaningful stage, 30 seconds behind Esteban Chaves, who will wear the leader’s red jersey for today’s third stage into Malaga.
Chaves snatched the early lead at the Tour of Spain when the Colombian Orica-GreenEdge rider surged clear at the death to win the mountainous second stage into Caminito del Rey. Chaves pipped Dutchman Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin to the line in the 158.7-km trek by one second, with Team Sky’s Nicolas Roche a further eight seconds back in third and Irish compatriot Daniel Martin of Cannondale-Garmin another five seconds behind in fourth.
The opening stage of the 70th edition of the Tour on Saturday, a team time trial won by BMC Racing, did not count towards the general classification due to safety concerns about several narrow, sand-covered stretches in Marbella.
“We talked among ourselves and how to deal with everyone around us and the main thing to do was to attack these guys so that’s what we did,” Chaves said. “I felt like I was in a good position and in the end I did it and I got this [red] jersey.
“At this point I’ve just got to keep going and be happy about this day and think about tomorrow.”
Italian Vincenzo Nibali, the 2014 Tour de France champion, suffered an early setback when he lost time after a pileup. Although the Astana rider fought hard to haul in the leaders, he finished almost one and a half minutes behind Chaves.