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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.  

Vuelta a Espana hub

Vuelta a España start list

Vuelta a Espana stage 16 time trial start times

Preview: Vuelta’s decisive time trial perfect for power specialists

  

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

 

Race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) will start last in just over fours hours.

 

In between we'll have all the action and times from the stage. 

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

 

Pre-stage favourite Rohan Dennis withdrew from the race along with BMC teammate Kilian Frankiny on the rest day and will not start.

 

 

 

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

On the same page you can also listen to our rest day round-up podcast as we look back to the first two weeks of racing and the mountains that follow today's time trial.

 

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.

Click here to see it.

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.

 

"There aren’t any sections on motorways but the high percentage of flat or gently undulating, fairly well surfaced roads would have been perfect for Indurain and the power time trialists," he wrote.

 

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

 

“It’s quite a technical race track but once we get out onto the road it’s just a straight long road. 20 kilometres going up in steps and then pretty much 20 kilometres going down in steps. It’s fast, it’s very much a power time trial course. It’s not super technical.”

 

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

Tom Scully (Cannondale) is second fastest in 16:43. 

 

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

 

Team Sky has opened up their new motorhome structure, with riders able to warm up inside the air-conditioned environment. 

 

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.

 

Lasse Norman Hansen is second fastest at the 13km point in 15:56.

 

They are the only two to go below 16 minutes so far.   

 

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.  

 

The Belgian rider won his national time-trial championships in June and showed he is on form by winning stage 2 of the Vuelta in Gruissan and wearing the leader's red jersey for a day before Chris Froome (Team Sky) took control. 

 

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. 

 

He's the new best time so far.

 

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.

 

The rolling course will allow the stronger time triallists to thrive while the others could give away a lot of time. Froome is among those likely to thrive, but he believes that there will be plenty of competition coming from his GC rivals.

 

 

 

"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.

 

 

"I think Vincenzo Nibali is not a bad time triallist himself. We've got a really good field here, and if I can gain any more time on my rivals then I'll be extremely happy."

 

First finisher!

Wallays is in and sets a time of 51:34. He is 1:20 faster than Connor Dunne of Aqua Blue Sport.

 

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

 

New fastest time!

Pete Koning comes home in 49:19. That's the new benchmark to beat. 

 

 

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. 

 

His information from out on the course will be vital for his Team Sky teammates. 

 

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

 

 

New best time! 

 

Daniel Oss (BMC) sets 48:49. That's fast.

 

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. 

He was not fastest after 13km but then turned up the speed in the final part of the 40.2km course. 

 

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.

 

He raced in the green jersey today.

 

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.

 

“It’s never easy but it was really fast and the wind helps with the speed,” Oss concluded.

 

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.

Kreder takes a drink after his ride.

 

 

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. 

 

The 20 year-old German is a neo-pro but was fourth in the U23 world TT championships in Qatar last year.

 

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.

 


“I think its suits him good, it’s a good TT for him. I think there’s a little tailwind, so you can ride pretty fast,” Kemna said. 
 

 

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.

Moscon has been caught by LL Sanchez.

 

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. 

 

Wout Poels is on the rollers and leader Chris Froome is expected to join him soon.

 

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.


“After I did the recon, I asked the mechanic to put on a 58 tooth chainring. You can save energy that way when you push it but you also need good legs too,” he said.

 

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

 

 

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


“I think Froome and Wilco Kelderman will be up there. It’ll be difficult for me,” he said.

 

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. 

These are the start list times for the final riders, with Froome last off.


Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 16:34:00

Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 16:36:00

Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 16:38:00

Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 16:40:00

Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 16:42:00

Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 16:44:00

Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 16:46:00

Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 16:48:00

Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 16:50:00

Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 16:52:00

 

 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. 

 

He is 3:59 down on Froome but could gain time on places on other rivals.

 

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. 

 

He hopes to lose just 30/40 seconds today but others have predicted a 1:30 loss for the Italian. 

 

We'll find out in 50 minutes or so.

 

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.

 

That's 4 seconds faster than Ludvigsson.

 

 

Froome is now only 11 seconds slower than Kelderman.

 

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

 

Froome seems to be fighting to stay in his ideal position, often moving in the saddle. 

 

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. 

 

But is it fast enough to win it? We'll find out soon.

 

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. 

Aru sets a time of 50:03.

 

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.

 

He beats Contador by 30 seconds. Great ride. What can Froome do?  

 

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.  

He hold second place by a few seconds. 

 

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.

He beats Kelderman by 29 seconds! 

 

Froome smashed the TT. 

 

He started steady but then pulled back his deficit on Kelderman and then gain time on the fast, final sector.

 

 

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. 

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:47:00
2 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:47:30
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:47:57
4 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:47:59
5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:48:00
6 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ 0:48:08
7 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:48:12
8 Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:48:31
9 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:48:42
10 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:48:50

 

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. 

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 62:53:25
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:58
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:40
4 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:03:07
5 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:58
6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:05:25
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:27
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:06:33
9 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:06:40
10 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:07:06

 

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. 

 

Froome was definitely the big winner. He gained time on all his rivals and pushed is lead on Nibali out to 1:58.  

 

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.

 

Nibali is second at 1:58 but still leads Kelderman by 42 seconds, with Zakarin fourth at 1:09.

 

Will he defend his second place or try to topple Froome in the mountains? 

  

 

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

He could be an important partner in crime with Nibali.  

 

 

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.

 

"I actually thought it wasn't good news, so I was worried half way through. But coming into the last six or seven kilometres, I found out I was on track to fight for the stage. It was a big relief."

 

Froome thank the Team Sky support staff for their help. 

 

"I’m super, super happy to be in this position. It’s an amazing feeling to extend my lead now and be in this position, with four days of big racing left now," he said.

 

"I’m going to take it one day at a time but I want to say a massive thanks to the support team at Team Sky. It’s a huge part of being able to do what I’m able to do, having everything there to focus on the job at hand."  
 

 

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

 

"I have a good buffer but the race isn’t over, so I’ll have to keep fighting every day and get one day closer to Madrid," he said.

 


"Tomorrow is going to be absolutely brutal. Los Machucos, from what I can see, is a wall. It’s a big GC battle for sure." 
 

 

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

 

"After my bad day in Andorra, things went different and I attacked when I wanted to. Now we come to four very hard days and we’ll do what we can do," he said.

 

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.

 

"My time trial was always good through the years. Now I’m in top form and top shape and I can see it in the time trial. I’m really happy with that," he said.

 
"Now I hope to stay on this level and fight every day, not more than that I think."

 

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.

 

"It was a real time trial, when you had to produce huge speed. But there was a lot of side winds and so it wasn’t easy. I kept moving on the road but it wasn’t easy to keep the speed high because we did some parts at almost 80km/h," he said.

 

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. 

 

To read our full stage report on his time trial victory and to understand what it means for the overall classification, click here.

 

 

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

 

Our reporters on the ground will have further interviews and analysis very soon.

 

Click here to read what Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, Wilco Kelderman and others said post stage.

 

 

 

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.

 

However he gained time on many others and so moved up fifth overall. He is no doubt hoping to finish on the final podium in Madrid.

 

 

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

 

We'll be back on Wednesday with full coverage of stage 17 from Villadiego to Los Machucos, with the mountain stage finishing with a steep final climb. We can expect more fireworks. 

 

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