Vuelta a Espana: Froome wins stage 16 time trial

Chris Froome (Team Sky) extended his overall lead at the Vuelta a Espana with a commanding win in the 40.2-kilometre time trial on stage 16. The race leader edged out Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) by 29 seconds with Vincenzo Nibali in third at 57 seconds.

Froome completed the time trial course in a time of 47:00 to buffer his lead over Nibali in the GC to 1:58. Kelderman's performance was enough to edge him ahead of Ilnur Zakarin for a spot on the podium with five stages remaining.

Alberto Contador (Trek Segafredo) finished fifth on the stage and moved up to fifth on GC. There were poor performances from Fabio Aru (Astana) and Esteban Chaves (Orica Scott), who both lost considerable time and fell down the standings. With less than a week of the Vuelta remaining Froome is on course to complete a rare Tour de France and Vuelta double.

The Team Sky leader looked in control throughout the stage, and although he was slightly down on a handful of riders at the first time check at 13 kilometres, his incessantly consistent pace wore down the likes of Kelderman and Contador – the latter of whom started strongly but was unable to hold back the tide of Froome's dominance in the second half of the test.

Fabio Aru's 26th place, 3:03 down on Froome - effectively ended his podium hopes, while Chaves' 4:01 loss to Froome saw him drop from fifth to ninth in the overall standings.

Nibali – who came into the stage hoping to limit his loses to Froome to around 30 seconds – put in a consistent performance and clawed back time on several rivals in the second half of the race but he conceded time to Froome with every passing kilometre and was forced to settle for a respectable but nevertheless GC-damaging third place. He remains Froome's closest challenger but must hope for a monumental off-day or a mistake from the Team Sky rider in order to win his second Vuelta.

"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. 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 said at the finish.

"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. 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. 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. 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."

Contador rises as Chaves falls

There was an air of inevitability as the sun beat down on the Vuelta, and the remaining riders warmed up for the first test after Monday's rest day. Chris Froome took up his position on Team Sky's new juggernaut, tapping away on the rollers as one-by-one, riders siphoned off from the start-ramp.

Lennard Kamna (Team Sunweb) and Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ) posted early lead times but when Alberto Contador made his way to the starting house the race interest rose significantly. This was, of course, Contador's final time trial and the Spaniard looked focussed as he set off on the motor racing circuit that occupied the first kilometres of the stage. The Spaniard set the fastest time at the first check but the script of Froome winning – convincingly at least – looked threatened when the Sky rider came through the first time check 10 seconds slower than Kelderman and five seconds down on his eternal Spanish rival.

Kelderman, who has gone unnoticed for much of this race, was producing the time trial of his life. He devoured Chaves for two minutes in the opening half of the and whizzed through the first check a full 18 seconds ahead of Contador.

Yet by the next check at 27.9 kilometers normality had been restored. Froome had etched ahead of Kelderman by seven seconds as Contador began to slowly fade. Zakarin remained in strong while Nibali had pulled himself further into contention and was just four seconds shy of Contador.

The Trek-Segafredo leader was the first rider to dip under 48 minutes as he sparked a flurry of fast finishes. Kelderman was next home in a time of 47:29 with Zakarin dropping to fourth in GC as a result. As Nibali entered the last kilometre it was clear that Froome was closing but the Italian's time of 47:57 was enough to take third on the stage. He had held one of his main rivals to 30 seconds but that it was Kelderman, and not Froome, perhaps illustrated the growing divide between the race leader and the rest.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:47:00
2Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:29
3Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:00:57
4Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:59
5Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 4 - Cell 2
6Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ0:01:07
7Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:01:11
8Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb0:01:30
9Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors0:01:41
10Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:01:49
11Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:50
12Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:01:55
13Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:02:07
14Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:09
15Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:02:12
16Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:15
17Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors0:02:17
18Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport0:02:19
19Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:25
20David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:02:27
21Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport0:02:30
22Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:02:34
23Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:02:46
24Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team0:02:47
25Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:02:49
26Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:03:03
27Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:08
28Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ0:03:11
29Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:03:12
30Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:03:14
31Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:03:20
32Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 31 - Cell 2
33Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:03:30
34Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb0:03:31
35Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:37
36Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 35 - Cell 2
37Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac0:03:40
38Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates0:03:42
39Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky0:03:53
40Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:54
41Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La MondialeRow 40 - Cell 2
42Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:03:56
43Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport0:03:57
44Rafael Reis (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:04:00
45Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott0:04:01
46Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:04:06
48Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky0:04:13
49Matej Mohoric (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:04:14
50Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott0:04:15
51Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky0:04:20
52Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data0:04:26
53Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin0:04:30
54Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates0:04:31
55Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJRow 54 - Cell 2
56Stefan Denifl (Aut) Aqua Blue Sport0:04:32
57Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 56 - Cell 2
58Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:04:33
59Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:04:34
60Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky0:04:35
61Thomas Scully (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac0:04:36
62Daan Olivier (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:04:38
63Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:04:41
64Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 63 - Cell 2
65Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:04:42
66Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb0:04:43
67Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:04:44
68Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:04:45
69Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 68 - Cell 2
70Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:04:46
71Ricardo Vilela (Por) Manzana Postobon0:04:47
72Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:04:49
73Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:04:52
74Rein Taaramäe (Est) Katusha-Alpecin0:04:53
75Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:04:56
76Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:04:57
77Magnus Cort (Den) Orica-Scott0:05:02
78Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) UAE Team Emirates0:05:05
79Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo0:05:06
80Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 79 - Cell 2
81Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 80 - Cell 2
82Hector Sáez Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:08
83Bernardo Suaza (Col) Manzana Postobon0:05:17
84Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 83 - Cell 2
85David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky0:05:20
86Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:05:22
87Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:24
88Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:25
89Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:05:29
90Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:05:30
91Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:05:31
92Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana PostobonRow 91 - Cell 2
93Juan Felipe Osorio (Col) Manzana Postobon0:05:32
94Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:05:33
95Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:05:34
96Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data0:05:39
97Fabricio Ferrari (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:40
98Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ0:05:41
99Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:05:45
100Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:05:47
101Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-Scott0:05:48
102Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:05:49
103Aldemar Reyes (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 102 - Cell 2
104Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:05:53
105Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:54
106Conor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue SportRow 105 - Cell 2
107Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ0:05:55
108Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal0:05:56
108Hernando Bohórquez (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 108 - Cell 2
110Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Orica-ScottRow 109 - Cell 2
111Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott0:06:00
112Federico Zurlo (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 111 - Cell 2
113Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:02
114Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb0:06:07
115Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:06:08
116Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ0:06:09
117Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin0:06:10
118Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott0:06:15
119Luis Angel Maté Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 118 - Cell 2
120Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 119 - Cell 2
121William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:06:17
122Adam Blythe (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport0:06:18
123Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:06:20
124Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb0:06:22
125Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 124 - Cell 2
126Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 125 - Cell 2
127Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal0:06:26
128Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac0:06:27
129Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue SportRow 128 - Cell 2
130Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:06:28
131Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:06:30
132Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:39
133Michael Mørkøv (Den) Katusha-AlpecinRow 132 - Cell 2
134Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:06:40
135Juan José Lobato (Spa) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:41
136Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:06:42
137Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:06:50
138Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:06:53
139Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:06:54
140Sebastián Molano (Col) Manzana Postobon0:06:56
141Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates0:06:59
142Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Astana Pro Team0:07:07
143Fernando Orjuela (Col) Manzana Postobon0:07:12
144Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac0:07:15
145David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:07:19
146Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport0:07:31
147Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ0:07:33
148Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:07:36
149Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:07:41
150Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 149 - Cell 2
151Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:07:45
152Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data0:07:53
153Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:07:55
154Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:07:56
155Floris De Tier (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:07:57
156Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-ScottRow 155 - Cell 2
157Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:08:04
158Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:08:18
159Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:23
160Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 159 - Cell 2
161Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:08:33
162Hernán Aguirre (Col) Manzana Postobon0:08:41
163Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky0:09:03
164Toms Skujins (Lat) Cannondale-Drapac0:10:30
DNSAlexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 164 - Cell 2
DNSNico Denz (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 165 - Cell 2
DNSSvein Tuft (Can) Orica-ScottRow 166 - Cell 2
DNSKilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 167 - Cell 2
DNSRohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 168 - Cell 2
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky25pts
2Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors1Row 14 - Cell 3
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#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Sky2:26:04
2Team Sunweb0:00:26
3Quick-Step Floors0:00:56
4BMC Racing Team0:01:52
5Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:02:50
6Astana Pro Team0:03:05
7Aqua Blue Sport0:03:42
11Movistar Team0:05:21
12AG2R La MondialeRow 11 - Cell 2
13Lotto Soudal0:05:30
15Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:06:56
16UAE Team Emirates0:06:58
18Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:08:13
20Manzana Postobon0:10:31
22Dimension Data0:12:54
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General classification after stage 16
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky62:53:25
2Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:01:58
3Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:02:40
4Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:03:07
5Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:04:58
6Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:05:25
7Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:27
8Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:06:33
9Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott0:06:40
10Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac0:07:06
11Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:10:11
12David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:10:14
13Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:10:17
14Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates0:12:44
15Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky0:23:20
16Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:23:58
17Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:24:52
18Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team0:31:43
19Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:39:04