Vuelta a Espana: Froome loses ground after dual crashes - Video

Race leader forced to chase after dramatic stage 12

Chris Froome (Team Sky) had his overall lead at the Vuelta a España cut by 20 seconds after crashing twice on the final descent of stage 12. Froome's lead in the general classification is now at 59 seconds over Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and 2:13 over Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott).

Froome's first crash came with 6.8 kilometres remaining in a dusty bend on the fast run-in to Antequera. The Team Sky rider was quickly furnished with a new bike, but he then crashed on a corner as he chased the group of GC favourites down the descent of the Puerto de Torcal.

Teammates Mikel Nieve and Wout Poels quickly dropped back to help their team leader. Froome was unable to get back to the main group, but minimised his losses to just 20 seconds. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) had attacked some 10 kilometres before Froome’s problems and gained 42 seconds on the race leader.

"I'm doing OK, thankfully," Froome said after getting medical treatment for scrapes on his knees and enduring multiple podium ceremonies. "I'm just grateful they weren't more serious. It's never nice to crash, but in the end I had two teammates with me, they were fantastic - Mikel Nieve and Wout Poels - they helped me all the way to the finish and helped me to limit the losses to the Vincenzo Nibali group.

"Of course I don't like to give away time, but I'm grateful it's 20 seconds and not one minute."

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