Chris Froome (Team Sky) won stage 9 of the Vuelta a Espana, stamping his authority on the race in the red leaders’ jersey. Estaban Chaves (Orica- Scott) finished in 2nd position and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) claimed 3rd spot.
The 9th stage of the Vuelta a Espana took the riders on a 174km trip from Orihuela to Cumbre del Sol. It was a relatively flat route today with just the final 4km of the stage ramping up viciously to the finish-line. With such a parcours, it was always expected that there would be a GC showdown on the final climb and that is exactly what happened.
The early break had no chance of surviving today and the last 2 remaining escapees were caught with 4.5km to go. Team Sky had control of the peloton as the race hit the final climb and only Roman Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) tried to challenge their them with an attack, but he was unsuccessful. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rode to position Igor Anton for the final climb and then it as up to his legs to do the best possible effort on the climb.
As the leaders hit the final kilometer, Froome’s final team member pulled off and the Brit put in a big attack. Only Chaves and Woods could follow Froome’s surge initially but both lost contact in the final 300m. Froome, in the race leaders red jersey, took a good stage win ahead of tomorrow’s rest day. Anton put in another consistent performance, finishing 22nd on the stage and moving up 1 place on the GC, to 21st.
Igor Anton – Rider
I have to say this year, the Vuelta is very hard. My objective is to stay in the best possible position on the general classification but it’s proving to be a real difficult objective. The last two stages I have suffered a lot. My condition is very good but I feel like I am not recovering well. I am just missing that last bit of power in the final of the stages. But, I am surviving and fighting. Tomorrow is the rest day which will be really important. Today I went through some really bad moments but the team supported me and I finished only 1’15” behind, which is not bad. I will continue to fight every day, maybe I will try another approach in the coming weeks by losing a little time to recover but then take my chances to move up the GC on other days as that remains my objective.