Vuelta a Espana: Miguel Angel Lopez wins stage 15 as Chris Froome widens lead

Chris Froome

Froome is aiming to become just the third rider to win the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same year

Chris Froome increased his overall lead on another tough day in the mountains at the Vuelta a Espana as Miguel Angel Lopez impressively won stage 15.

Colombian Astana rider Lopez arrived alone at the 2,510m summit of the Alto Hoya de la Mora after overtaking Briton Adam Yates in the final kilometres.

Froome countered Vincenzo Nibali’s move on the final climb and widened his advantage over him by six seconds.

He now leads the Italian Bahrain-Merida rider by one minute and one second.

Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin moved up to third overall by finishing second behind Lopez, 36 seconds off the pace, with Wilco Kelderman third on Sunday’s 129.4km ride from Alcala la Real.

Froome, once again helped to a strong finish by team-mates Wout Poels and Mikel Nieve, finished fifth, with Nibali seventh.

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An exhausted Yates, who is yet to win a stage at a Grand Tour, was caught in the final 4km, almost coming to a halt as Lopez raced past him.

It was Lopez’s second stage victory of this year’s race, having also won stage 11, and he now moves up to sixth overall, two minutes and 51 seconds behind Froome.

The 23-year-old’s supposed team leader, Fabio Aru, dropped to seventh as he lost more time on those around him.

“I slowed down when he came past me because I couldn’t keep the pace. Maybe it was a bit early when I attacked but we gave it a shot,” said Yates, who eventually finished 22nd, just behind his twin brother Simon.

“I tried my best so I can’t be disappointed with that. I’m tired now but we will rest up and go again in a few days. It didn’t work out today but I am sure it will in the future.”

Monday is a rest day. Racing returns on Tuesday with a 40.2km time trial from Circuito de Navarra to Logrono.

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Stage 15 result

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana) 3hrs 34mins 51secs

2. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha-Alpecin) +36secs

3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +45secs

4. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica-Scott) +47secs

5. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) same time

6. Michael Woods (Can/Cannondale-Drapac) +50secs

7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +53secs

8. Wout Poels (Ned/Team Sky) same time

9. Louis Meintjes (SA/UAE Team Emirates) same time

10. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana) +1min 02secs

Overall standings after Stage 15

1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) 53hrs 48mins 06secs

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 01secs

3. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha-Alpecin) +2mins 08secs

4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +2mins 11secs

5. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica-Scott) +2mins 39secs

6. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team) +2mins 51secs

7. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana Pro Team) +3mins 24secs

8. Michael Woods (Can/Cannondale-Drapac) +3mins 26secs

9. Alberto Contador (Spa/Trek-Segafredo) +3mins 59secs

10. Wout Poels (Ned/Team Sky) +5mins 22 secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/41142161

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