Froome ticks off another summit finish to boost historic Vuelta bid

Froome ticks off another summit finish to boost historic Vuelta bid

Froome finished fifth, 47 seconds back, but with the same time as title rival Esteban Chaves and six seconds ahead of 2010 Vuelta victor Vincenzo Nibali, who now trails the Team Sky rider by one minute and one second ahead of Monday's final rest day. Lopez then set off on his own to pass breakaway rider Adam Yates and power his way to the summit finish at Alto Hoya de la Mora. I had to win.

But he showed great stamina and climbing power to stay away from a stellar cast of chasers for his first Vuelta stage win.

Chris Froome edged closer to winning the Vuelta a Espana as he increased his overall advantage over Vincenzo Nibali to 61 seconds after surviving another punishing mountain stage on Sunday.

The fight to get into the break at the Vuelta has normally been one that's taken hours and well over 50 kilometres, but the escape today went early and quite simply.

Now second in the mountains classification behind the Italian Davide Villella, Majka entering the last week with ambition.

Froome crossed the line six seconds ahead of Nibali, who finished seventh.

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"I want to enjoy myself, just like I've been enjoying myself up to now", he continued.

"Again a really big thank you to my team for the work they did today".

Froome, a four-time Tour champion, has finished the Vuelta runner-up three times. I think it was the right decision, we've kept the energy for the stage tomorrow [Sunday], " responded Froome.

With Chaves losing time, Team Sunweb's Wilco Kelderman moved up to third in the standings, two minutes 17 seconds behind Froome, with Ilnur fourth at two minutes 25 seconds and Chaves fifth, a further 14 seconds back.

"Anything can happen", warned the Spanish (8th in 3 minutes and 19 seconds), at which it remains, "seven days of cycling in the legs" before retiring on the evening of the final stage, the 10 September in Madrid.

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