Froome and van Garderen lose time at Vuelta a Espana

Team Sky and BMC riders dropped on stage 7's final climb

Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) both struggled in the heat of Vuelta a Epsana and lost time to their main GC rivals on the final climb of stage 7.

Froome found himself distanced from the bunch just as Fabio Aru (Astana) launched an attack with around a kilometre remaining and he was soon joined by van Garderen. The Team Sky rider eventually crossed the line 1:03 down on the stage winner Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), giving away 34 seconds to Aru.

Nicolas Roche is currently Sky’s best placed rider in fourth at 36 seconds with Froome now dropping out of the top 10 to 12th at 1:22 behind the current race leader Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge).

Van Garderen’s woes were worse as he came over the line nearly a minute behind Aru and is now over two minutes down in the overall classification. He remains BMC’s top performer with Samuel Sanchez a further 45 seconds behind the American.

The race is by no means over for the pair with some much tougher stages to come and the key time trial in the final week but being dropped so early in the race will be a mental blow for both.

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