Froome wins Vuelta 11th stage, Quintana holds lead

Peqa Cabarga (Espagne)—Chris Froome pipped Nairo Quintana to victory on the summit finish of the 11th stage of the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday, but the Colombian held onto his overall lead.
Britain’s Froome, the Tour de France champion, won on the same climb in 2011 and he was the only rider able to keep up with Quintana at the finish this time.
Froome then attacked towards the end and won in 3hours 44min 47sec to edge out Quintana, with Spain’s Alejandro Valverde six seconds behind that duo in third.
Thanks to the time bonuses awarded at the finish, Froome moved up to just 54 seconds back on red jersey holder Quintana in the overall standings, with Valverde third overall at 1:05. Meanwhile, three time former champion Alberto Contador has given up on winning this year’s Tour of Spain saying Tuesday he has fallen too far behind overall leader Colombia’s Nairo Quintana.
“The chances of winning are very slim now” said the Spanish pre-race favourite during a press conference.
“I’m three minutes behind Nairo Quintana whose doing really well and who has a good team behind him. If I’m continuing the Vuelta it’s not to win but to give it my best.” said Madrid born Contador.
After Quintana’s victory in the 10th stage Contador is fifth nearly three minutes behind the leader and two minutes behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Chris Froome (SKY), who are in second and third.
Contador won the Vuelta in 2008, 20012 and 2014 but a fall and severe grazing down one side of his body have hampered his form in this year’s edition.
“The tactics I used in the Lagos de Convadonga climb was wrong, I should have been more prudent,” added the Spaniard about his 8th placed finish in the 10th stage.
The Tinkoff rider hinted that his objective might be to get a stage win during the second half of the Vuelta, “I’m going to have a look at the stages and decide what to do.” he said.
The 11th stage of the Tour de Spain on Wednesday will be a 168.6km ride from Colunga to Pena Cabarga with a category 1 climb to the finish line.—AFP

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