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Chris Froome Wins Stage 16 Time Trial to Extend His Lead

By Martin Mrazek

Is this the decisive moment of the whole 2017 Vuelta a España? Chris Froome (Team Sky) put in astonishing performance once again and managed to extend his lead over second-placed Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) by yet another 57 seconds. Overall, the Brit now leads by 1-58. Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb), who finished second yesterday, lost by 29 seconds but moved up to third place, 2-40 behind Froome.

Surprisingly, the Brit himself wasn’t too sure he’d been doing well: “I wasn’t getting that many time checks from the car so I didn’t really know where I was. I presumed it was not good news because I wasn’t getting the numbers. I was a bit worried and only coming into the last six or seven kilometres, did I find out that I was on track to fight for the stage. It’s a really big relief and I’m super happy to be in this position.”

The home fans were also delighted to see a spectacular time trial performance by Alberto Contador. The Spaniard pulled off a fantastic start, going past the first checkpoint five seconds faster than any other rider before him. Even Froome was 23 seconds slower on Los Arcos than Contador. Supported by the brand new Škoda KAROQ, the home hero finished fifth on the stage, moving to fourth overall at 4-58.

“The sensations were not bad. Going for the last week!” Contador wrote on his Instagram account.

But it wasn’t a good day for everybody. Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) dropped from fourth to ninth place overall, now sitting at 6-40 behind Froome.

Stage 16 results

1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 47-00-51
2 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 29s
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 57s
4 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin, at 59s
5 Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo st
6 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ, at 1-07
7 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 1-11
8 Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb, at 1-30
9 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors, at 1-41
10 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team, at 1-49

General classification

1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, in 62-53-25
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 1-58
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb, 2-40
4 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin, 3-07
5 Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at 4-58
6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team, at 5-25
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team, at 6-27
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 6-33
9 Johan Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott, at 6-40
10 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac, at 7-06