Froome stays safe on Vuelta's final day to claim second overall

Chris Froome wins stage, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage 17

Britain's Chris Froome (Sky) said his second place in the 2011 Vuelta a Espana represented a major turning point in his career and that he would be fighting for major Tours in the future.

"It's a big step forward," Froome told Cycling Weekly as he stood in the shadow of the podium in Madrid.

"Hopefully it's the start of a lot of things to come for me, I've been trying for a long time to get to this level, so this has been a first introduction to this kind of racing."

"Hopefully, too, I can come to a race like this in the future and fight for the general classification."

Froome thanked his team-mates and the Sky staff for "helping me so much all the way through" and he said that what he had learned from Wiggins had been instrumental in helping maintain his top position overall.

Nineteenth on the stage, Froome said that the Sky plan on the last day had not been to attack Cobo, but to set things up for an attack for team-mate and earlier stage winner Chris Sutton (Sky).

"It was a bit of a crazy day, only 90 kilometres and it's quite hard to keep everyone together on such a short day because everybody's feeling strong over such a short distance."

"A lot of people wanted to go for the stage win today, so personally I was just trying to stay up there, and if something happened to Cobo I'd still be in front."

"But it was pretty obvious there was not going to many big changes today. I'd had my chance in the mountains and Cobo rode very well, he didn't put a foot wrong all the way through."

Related links

Tour of Britain 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Latest news

Froome refuses to throw in towel after Vuelta's Bilbao stage

Cobo: Sky will attack in Bilbao

Froome narrows gap on Cobo to take first grand tour stage win

Wiggins and Froome in 'enemy territory' on stage 17

Confusion reigns in Vuelta stage as riders tackle roundabout wrong way

Sky uses rest day to regroup before final leg of Vuelta

Wiggins upbeat despite losing Vuelta lead on Angliru

Crunch time for Wiggins and Froome in Vuelta

Wiggins says he will give it 100 per cent to defend Vuelta lead

Vuelta tackles unknown mountain top finish today

Froome: "This lead is a big milestone"

Wiggins in Vuelta: "We're in an amazing position"

Dan Martin delighted with King of the Mountains jersey

Sky dominates in Vuelta a Espana

Martin delighted with first ever grand tour stage win

Wiggins: A fantastic finish

Interview: Wiggins looks ahead of crucial three days of Vuelta

Farrar taken to hospital after Vuelta crash

Arvesen quits Vuelta with crash injuries

Anton suffers again but Rodriguez becomes Spain's top contender

Wiggins pleased with strong ride in Spanish sierras

Cavendish abandons Vuelta a Espana

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Teams, riders, start list

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Who's riding?

Vuelta a Espana 2011 team list

Vuelta a Espana 2011

: Stage reports

Stage 21: Froome and Wiggins finish on Vuelta podium

Stage 20: Bennati wins Vuelta stage 20 as Cobo keeps slim lead over Sky's Froome

Stage 19: Anton takes win on Basque home soil as Cobo foils Froome

Stage 18: Gavazzi salvages poor Vuelta for Lampre as Cobo enjoys trouble-free day

Stage 17: Froome wins Vuelta stage 17 but can't unseat Cobo from race lead

Stage 16: Haedo wins confusing stage 16 finish in Vuelta

Stage 15: Wiggins loses race lead as Cobo stakes claim for overall on Angliru

Stage 14: Taaramae takes stage as Wiggins puts time into rivals

Stage 13: Albasini wins Vuelta stage 13 as Wiggins hangs on to lead

Stage 12: Sagan takes second 2011 Vuelta stage win

Stage 11: Wiggins takes overall lead as Moncoutie wins stage

Stage 10: Brit Froome moves into overall Vuelta lead after time trial

Stage nine: Martin wins as Wiggins moves further up GC

Stage eight: Rodriguez wins again to take overall lead

Stage seven: Kittel wins chaotic bunch sprint

Stage six: Sagan takes Vuelta stage win in controversial circumstances

Stage five: Rodriguez takes second win for Katusha but Chavanel holds on

Stage four: Moreno wins first mountain skirmish at Sierra Nevada

Stage three: Lastras solos to stage and takes red jersey

Stage two: Sutton grabs stage win to set things right for Sky

Stage one: Leopard-Trek win opening TTT to put Fuglsang in front

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Photo galleries

By Graham Watson

Stage 20 photo gallery

Stage 19 photo gallery

Stage 18 photo gallery

Stage 17 photo gallery

Stage 16 photo gallery

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Vuelta a Espana 2011: TV guide

Vuelta a Espana 2011: ITV4 TV schedule

Vuelta a Espana 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

ITV to show 2011 Vuelta


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