Froome loses more time in Vuelta

Chris Froome lost more time to overall leader Joaquim Rodriguez as the Vuelta a Espana reached Barcelona.

Briton Froome finished stage nine in a group 12 seconds behind Rodriguez, who clocked the same time as winner Philippe Gilbert.

Froome is now 53 seconds behind Rodriguez overall but remains in second place after Sunday’s 196km stage.

Monday sees the first rest day of the Vuelta, which ends in Madrid on 9 September.

Froome, who finished second in the Tour de France behind Team Sky team-mate Bradley Wiggins,

was second in last year’s Vuelta

and could be on for a repeat finish this year.

Gilbert and Rodriguez broke away close to the finish in Montjuic Park in Barcelona and Belgian Gilbert was able to outsprint Rodriguez to take the third Vuelta stage win of his career.

Italy’s Paolo Tiralongo finished in third place.

Stage nine results:

1. Philippe Gilbert (Belgium/BMC Racing) 4:45:28″

2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain/Katusha) ST

3. Paolo Tiralongo (Italy/Astana) +7″

4. Tomasz Marczynski (Poland/Vacansoleil) +9″

5. Daniele Bennati (Italy/RadioShack) ST

General classification after nine stages:

1. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain/Katusha) 34:44:55″

2. Chris Froome (Britain/Team Sky) +53″

3. Alberto Contador (Spain/Saxo Bank) +1:00″

4. Alejandro Valverde (Spain/Movistar) +1:07″

5. Robert Gesink (Netherlands/Rabobank) +2:01″

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