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Vuelta a Espana 2017: Stage 16

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Hola and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 16 of the Vuelta a Espana, a 40km time trial from Circuito de Navarra to Logroño.  

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The first rider to start the time trial is Connor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport).

There will be one-minute intervals between the riders with two-minutes separating the top-30 riders.

Of the non-GC riders, Svein Tuft (Orica-Scott), Tom Scully (Cannondale-Drapac), Yves Lampaert (QuickStep-Floors), Chad Haga (Team Sunweb), Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ), and Bob Jungels (QuickStep-Floors) will be early-riders to watch in the battle for the stage.

For the full start list for the time trial, click here

This morning Cyclingnews reporters Alasdair Fotheringham and Sadhbh O'Shea went out to study the course of the time trial and produced a special preview and video.

14 riders have already started, including Australia's Sam Bewley (Orica-Scott), who could be our early leader. 

There are two intermediate time checks during the 40.2km TT: after 13km and after 27.9km.

Dunne set a time of 16:55 but was soon bettered by Jelle Wallays (Lotto), who set 16:26. 

In his preview, Alasdair Fotheringham described the stage as perfect for power time trialists because of the long, straight and general flat roads.

The TT has a rolling middle section, with Chris Froome describing as such during the second rest day: 

25 riders have started so far, with Wallays still fastest after 13km in 16:26.

The course starts on the flat Navarre motor racing circuit and so teams have set up their buses in the pits of the circuit. 

New best intermediate time! Peter Koning of Aqua Blue Sport sets 15:26.

The ABS riders are out to show themselves today, despite their recent problems after their bus was set on fire.

Svein Tuft was expected to challenge today but the Orica-Scott team has confirmed he did not start. They have yet to explain why. 

Connor Dunne reaches the second check point in 37:46. 

As expected, Wallays is faster than Dunne, the Belgian sets 36:34 at the 27.9km point. 

In the absence of Tuft, Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) is the expected early fast man.  

Indeed, Lampaert sets a time of 15:27 at the first check, just a second slower than Koning.

Koning has confirmed he is on a good day by setting 34:59 after 27.9km. 

Hansen is the closest to his ABS teammate but he is 20 seconds slower.

The stage 16 time trial should be a chance for Froome to cement his place in the red leader's jersey.

"There are quite a few time triallists here to contend with. Certainly, [Ilnur] Zakarin looks in very good shape, and [Wilco] Kelderman. Alberto Contador has done some very decent time trials this year, and this will be his last competitive time trial so I expect that he will pull out all the stops," Froome said on the rest day.

First finisher!

53 riders have so far started and are out on the course. 

New fastest time!

He beats his Aqua Blue Sport teammate Lasse Norman Hansen by just 11 seconds to take the hot seat at the finish.

Ian Stannard finishes with a time of 50:53, which is enough to put him third so far. 

This is a shot of Stannard during his ride. He's pretty aero for a big guy.  

New best time! 

Lampaert comes in and beats Koning too but he is 18 seconds slower than Oss, with a time of 49:07. 

Oss started his ride steady but finished very strongly. 

Like all the early starters, Oss raced in hot, windless conditions. The temperature will drop later but the wind could increase. 

Alex Gougeard of AG2R could be a threat to Oss. The aggressive Frenchman has set a time of 34:46 ant the second time split, that's 11 seconds faster than Oss. 

82 riders have so far started. We're half way through the start list.

The riders are warming up in the pits of the Navarro racing circuit. Here's Matteo Trentin before his ride.

Oss rode at a speed of 49.4km/h. That meant he was one second faster than Gougeard, who has set 48:50.

Simon Clarke (Cannondale) is the latest rider to roll down the ramp in the Navarro circuit. 

Oss was happy with his ride. He's looking for a place in the BMC squad for the TTT world championships in Bergen.  

"It’s pretty early in the day, so we’ll have to wait a lot to see what happens. I’m looking to be in good shape for the worlds, for the TTT. Today I had good legs to say I’m ready,” Oss said.  

Oss confirmed there was a tail wind.

This is the view of the start from the stands.

The riders cover part of the circuit before heading out on the roads to Logroño.

Lennard Kamna (Sunweb) has been let off the leash today. He sets a new fastest intermediate time of 34:40 and so could be a threat to Oss. 

Kamna was only fifth fastest at the first time split but has found some extra speed.

Here comes Trentin. He's fourth fastest at the finish, 23 seconds slower than Oss. 

It's hot out there with temperatures close to 35C at the moment.

Here comes Kamna!

He is fastest in 48:30. 19 seconds faster than Oss. 

Kamna has his right knee taped but is clearly on form. 

Kamna grabbed his bidon for a drink after crossing the line. 

Kamna will now head to the hot seat at the finish to replace Oss. 

“It’s great to have best time and for sure I’m happy," Kamna said after his ride. 

“Normally I didn’t want to go that hard but I started to overtake the first guy, started to push myself and so went full gas," he added.

He was convinced the course suits his teammmate and team leader Wilco Kelderman.

Bob Jungels has started. The Quick-Step Floors is one of the big favourites for the time trial today.

He sweeps through the corners on the motor racing circuit and is quickly back into his aero position.

Thomas Ludvigsson (FDJ) has started fast. He's set the best time after 13km with 15:23.

Jungels has to overtake a race car on a narrow road. That shouldn't happen.

Jungels catches and Marczynski, with the double stage winner giving him a cheeky thumbs-up.

Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) is the Italian time trial champion and so will race in the red, white and green jersey today.

Ludvigsson sets 34:21 after 27.9km. He is 19 seconds faster than Kamna. but can he hold his speed? 

Jungels is on the mid-stage climbing sector. Yet he is able to remain in his aero tuck. impressive.

Moscon is underway but seems to pacing his ride to save his strength for the final mountain stages.

The riders are following the white line down the centre of the road on the long straight sections. That allows them to tuck their head even lower and stay aero without losing sense of their position on the road.

At the start the overall contenders are starting their warm up protocols. 

Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) is already racing after slipping down the overall classification.

Here comes Ludvigsson.

He is fastest in a time of 48:07. He beat Kamna by 23 seconds. That's a great ride by the big Swede.

Ludvigsson falls onto the floor as he gasps for his breath. He gave his all and he gets an applause from the crowd when he is confirmed as the fastest so far.

Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ) after his ride. 

Romain Bardet (AG2R) is off as the big names start to race, now starting at two minutes intervals. 

Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ) has revealed the secret of his great ride.

Crash for Bardet. He lost his bike on a tight early corner. 

Despite his good ride, Ludvigsson was not confident about winning the stage.

Froome is warming up in the leader's red jersey. Instead of hiding in the Sky hub structure, the front is open and the local are watching him and cheering him. 

Here comes Jungels.

He is fast but not fast enough.

He sets 48:41, only good enough for third so far. He was 34 seconds slower than Ludvigsson. 

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) starts his ride. He could move up the GC with a good ride. 

David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) has started. 

 Alberto Contador is about to start. This his his final TT of his long career. 

He anticipates the countdown and surges down the start ramp. 

Michael Woods (Cannondale) is next off. He's had an impressive Vuelta so far. 

Contador is not holding back on the fast corners of the Navarro motor racing circuit.

For now Ludvigsson remains fastest at the intermediate time checks and at the finish.

Chris Froome is about to complete his warm up and start his TT.  

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) rolls away. Only Nibali and Froome left to start now.

The Russian could gain time on Nibali and even Froome today. 

Nibali is focused on the start ramp. 

Froome is off. He could double his race lead on Nibali today and so strengthen his grip on the leader's red jersey.

Froome is quickly down into his aero tuck for the early kilometres on the Navarro motor racing circuit.

Contador is flying! He sets 15:18 at the first intermediate pint after 13km. That's the fastest time so far!

Nibali leaves the motor racing circuit but real time checks show him 7 seconds down on Froome already. 

Nibali heads off the main road for the rolling climbs of the middle sector of the 40.2km TT.

Froome is pushing a big gear while tucked low over his TT bike.

Nibali has conceded that he will lose time today but insists the Vuelta is far from over. The final mountain stages begin tomorrow.  

Wow Wilco! Kelderman is shown as 18 seconds faster than Contador after 13km.

Zakarin is 16 slower than Kelderman at the same first split. 

Kelderman is about to catch Chaves who started 2 minutes ahead of him.

He blows past the little Colombian on a wide corner.

Froome is 23 seconds slower after 13km. Interesting but still plenty to race in the 40.2km TT. 

Contador fights on, setting 34:17 after 27.9km.

Froome is now only 11 seconds slower than Kelderman.

Nibali is 16 slower than Froome despite staying in his aero tuck on a climb.

Contador has set the same time of Ludvigsson after 27.9km. He seems to be fighting to push his big gear. 

Aru is having a bad day. He's lost more than 1:30 to Ludvigsson already.  

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) finishes in 48:55. sixth fastest so far. That will help his GC hopes.

The timing is struggling to keep up today but here comes Kelderman at 27.9km.

He sets 33:50! He's 27 seconds faster than Contador.   

Surely only Froome can beat him now. 

Real time splits show Froome 11 seconds better than Kelderman. He seems to have paced his effort well. 

34:09 for Zakarin. He's there but a bit off the pace of Kelderman and Froome.

TV shows Poels setting 48:11, that's second fastest is correct. 

Here comes Contador.

He sets 47:59.82! Fastest!  

Contador gave it his all in his final TT of his career. 

In theory Zakarin, Kelderman and Froome should beat him based on the intermediate times.

Froome sets the new fastest time at the 27.9km point. He clocks 33:43. 

That was 27 seconds faster than Contador! 

Kelderman is pushing a huge gear and so moving across the road under the effort.

Froome is also pushing a huge gear on the downhill roads.

Michael Woods finishes in 50:40. He's going to slip down the GC and top 10 today. 

Here comes Aru. He's going to lose two minutes to Contador. 

Contador could climb into the top 5 after his ride. 

Here comes Lopez as he tries to earn time on his closest overall rivals. He sets 49:34. He beats Aru but loses time to others.

Kelderman is in town and close to the finish but he seems to be fading. 

Kelderman stops the clock in a time of 47:29.

Esteban Chaves suffers and finishes with 51:01. He lost 3:32 to Kelderman and so will slip down the GC. 

Here comes Zak the knife. 

He sets 47: 59, but betters Contador due to the 100ths of a second. 

Froome also touches the barriers on a late corner. 

Nibali finishes in a time of 47:57. Second fastest behind Kelderman.  

Only Froome left to finish now. Can he win the stage as well as extend his race lead? 

He does. He sets a time of 47:00.

Froome smashed the TT. 

Froome beat Kelderman by 29 seconds, with Nibali at 57, and Zakarin and Contador at 59 seconds.

This is the top ten for the stage. 

Froome now leads Nibali by over two minutes.

Froome leads Nibali by exactly 1:58. Kelderman is third overall at 2:40,  with Zakarin fourth at 3:07 and Contador up to fifth at 4:58.  

This is the new top ten overall. 

Kelderman sat on the floor after his huge effort.

Froome was a lot fresher and celebrated with his support staff. 

This Twitter photo shows exactly how happy Froome was after his win.

There were a number of winners and losers in varying amounts today. 

Nibali lost a chunk of time but perhaps less than many expected. That is a clear sign of his form and his determination to fight all the way to Madrid.

Kelderman gained time on Nibali and Zakarin and will  be buoyed by his TT despite losing time to Froome. 

Zakarin will be disappointed not to gain time on Nibali but will fight for a podium place all the way to Madrid. 

Contador is fifth at 4:58 but cannot be ruled out. He seems back to his best and will surely try something in the days to come. He wants to go out on a high.

After pulling on another red jersey, Froome spoke about his TT and his overall chances.

"I was riding it at the speed I felt best. I wasn’t really getting many time checks from the car so I didn't really know where I was," Froome said.

Froome thank the Team Sky support staff for their help. 

Froome is happy to have extended his lead but knows there are so nasty mountain stages to come, starting with stage 17 on Wednesday. 

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) spoke briefly after the stage, hinting he will try to attack again. 

Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) faded during the final part of the time trial after a fast start but he was still happy, knowing his performance is a good gauge of his form for the final week.

We have the first images from our photographers at the Vuelta. Here is Froome in action on the Navarro motor racing circuit.

This is a similar shot of Contador during his TT.

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) spoke about the wind that affected the time trial.

This is a great a front-on-shot of Froome during the time trial. 

Froome was congratulated on the podium by local resident and five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain.

Vincenzo Nibali talked about the strong sidewinds and this shot shows him fighting to stay aero and produce power.

Froome pulled on the red leader's jersey yet again. 

We also have the initial comments from television interviews with several riders at the finish of the time trial.

We're going to sign off with a final shot of Alberto Contador. He fought for the stage victory but was eventually beaten by Froome, Kelderman and Nibali.

Thanks for joining us for live coverage of the Vuelta a Espana time trial. 

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