Chris Froome says he fought to win the Vuelta a España's ninth stage on Cumbre del Sol and avoid a repeat of his loss there in 2015
Froome stepped off the podium and spoke with waiting press, where the wind blew harder above high above the Spanish coast at 415 metres.
“I heard bit of information from the car, about the headwind in the final, so I didn’t want to go too early and experience 2015 again,” Froome said.
“I made a bigger effort with kilometre to go [last time], ran out of steam in the last kilometre and learned form that lesson. I just went for one big move after De La Cruz, used that acceleration as launch pad.
“I saw Chaves coming back and for a second though, I thought, this is going to be like Dumoulin and refused to let that happen again. I gave it again in the last 200 metres.”
Froome left the Colombian behind by four seconds. With the bonus seconds added in on the line, he jumped ahead by eight seconds today to lead by 36 seconds on Chaves and 1-05 minutes on Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing).
Out of the gate, Froome stormed the 2017 Vuelta a España. Every day, he has slowly moved away from his rivals with the Andorra finish and red jersey lead on day three, the Santa Lucía summit in Alcossebre, on stage eight in Xorret de Catí and again on stage nine.
He never has led a Grand Tour for so long so early, but he is now attempting to do so and hold on to the red jersey until the end. It is an offensive approach for Froome in this 2017 Vuelta, which enjoys its first rest day in Alicante on Monday ahead of two more weeks of racing.
“Sometimes the best form of defence is attack and the way I’ve been feeling in this year’s Vuelta, it suits me to be in front and make the race faster,” Froome said.
“The team has worked so hard, especially in the final. Mikel Nieve was fantastic.”