Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome wins stage 9

Chris Froome (Team Sky) put his stamp on the Vuelta a Espana, winning stage 9 to take his first Grand Tour stage of the year. The race leader was able to pull away from his rivals on the final climb up the Puig Llorença and win by four seconds ahead of Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), with Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) one second further back.

In the overall Froome again built up his overall lead to 36 seconds ahead of Chaves in second. Woods moved up to eighth, changing places with Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), who dropped to ninth.

It was a show of strength by Froome, who took off within the steep final kilometre. His rivals were slow to respond and then couldn't match his power. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) had tried to keep up but once again had to fall back. In the end only Chaves and Woods could come close but they had no answer when Froome kicked for the line.

"I put everything I had into that last couple of hundred metres. I was determined that they weren't going to catch me. I'm really, really happy to get the victory. The team did a brilliant job on that final climb and set such a good tempo," Froome said.

Up until the final climb, the stage was marked by a long breakaway and an active Cannondale-Drapac. The break group of 10 got away in the first 20km and stayed away until the final climb. Cannondale-Drapac, looking desperately for a 2018 sponsor, put on a show of pride, leading the peloton much of the time until the final climb.

How it unfolded

The stage took off from Oriheula on its way up the coastline. The usual skirmishes for a break were carried out before the day's group finally established itself before the first 20km.

Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo), Marc Soler (Movistar), Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Lluis Mas and Diego Rubio (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport) and Ricardo Vilela (Manzana Postobon) broke clear. Cannondale-Drapac, fighting for a new sponsor and for their continued existence, were at the head of the field and kept the gap at around the three minute mark.

The first 130 kilometers of the stage were more or less flat, but a final closing circuit took the field once over the Alto de Puig Llorença before returning to it for a summit finish. The long flat course was ideal for a break, and offered a good chance to stay away until the end, but the peloton was also aware of this and held the group on a short line.

The day was a major show of pride by Cannondale-Drapac. The whole team lined out at the head of the peloton leading the chase, never asking for help. They ground the gap down to just over two minutes at the 53km marker.

The break group split on the first climb up the Llorença, with Ludvigsson, Mas and Vilela building up a lead, later being joined by Soler. Less than two minutes behind them, Cannondale ceded the lead work to Sky, with Trek-Segafredo also busy bringing Alberto Contador up to the front.

Soler and Ludvigsson then moved away and took off. Soler was first over the climb ahead of Ludvigsson, with the field only 1:45 back.

Attacks soon started after the climb, with Romain Bardet (AG2R) going solo. Cannondale moved back up to the front and helped bring the Frenchman back.

The leading duo worked well together on the long descent before the course circled back to send them back up the Llorença one more time. The gap descended as well, and with 18km to go it was down to a mere 30 seconds.

Trek-Segafredo also moved up to the front of the field, joining Cannondale and Sky. Ludvigsson won the intermediate sprint ahead of Soler, with Koen de Kort (Trek-Segafredo) jumping briefly from the peloton for third.

Ludvigsson and Soler took 37 seconds with them as they went into the finale. Cannondale finally disappeared from the front, as Sky, Trek-Segafredo, Orica-Scott, Bahrain Merida and Sunweb all grouped at the head of the field.

With 6km to go, Soler pulled away, while Ludvigsson sat up and waited for the field. Soler soon gave in to his fate and was back in the peloton as well. Sky set a blistering pace and lined the bunch out along the climb.

The final climb was only four kilometers long, but with an average gradient of 9.1 per cent and a maximum of 21 per cent was anything but easy.

Riders dropped off the back as Romain Bardet (AG2R), Richard Carapaz (Movistar) and Enric Mas (QuickStep Floors) pulled away. Carapaz soon jumped, with Bardet catching him again, but with the field only seconds behind.

Bardet tried to go up on his own, slowly pulling away but the field gobbled him up again on a flatter section. Froome was on second wheel going into the final kilometre, with Contador right behind him.

QuickStep was the first to attack but Froome, Contador and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) followed. Then Froome went and at first no one was able to follow. Chaves and Woods pulled away and gave chase. Chaves caught the race leader but Froome once again pulled away and he took his first Grand Tour stage win of 2017.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky4:07:13
2Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott0:00:04
3Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:05
4Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:08
5Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 4 - Cell 2
6Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:00:12
7David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step FloorsRow 6 - Cell 2
8Sam Oomen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 7 - Cell 2
9Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:00:14
10Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 9 - Cell 2
11Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:17
12Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:19
13Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott0:00:23
15Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:27
16Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 15 - Cell 2
17Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:29
18Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:00:55
19Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:09
20Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team EmiratesRow 19 - Cell 2
21Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky0:01:13
22Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data0:01:15
23Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:17
24Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 23 - Cell 2
25Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 24 - Cell 2
26Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates0:01:22
27Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:01:24
28Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:01:28
29Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 28 - Cell 2
30Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo0:01:34
31Luis Angel Maté Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:36
32Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:01:50
33Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:01:52
34Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:54
35Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:58
36Fabricio Ferrari (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:02:01
37Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 36 - Cell 2
38Hernán Aguirre (Col) Manzana Postobon0:02:18
39Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon0:02:31
40Stefan Denifl (Aut) Aqua Blue Sport0:02:32
41Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team0:02:37
42Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 41 - Cell 2
43Hector Sáez Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:02:54
44Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:08
45Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ0:03:14
46Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 45 - Cell 2
47Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:34
48Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:08
49Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:04:09
50Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step FloorsRow 49 - Cell 2
51Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data0:04:23
52Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:04:47
53Daan Olivier (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 52 - Cell 2
54Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 53 - Cell 2
55Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky0:04:55
56Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team SkyRow 55 - Cell 2
57Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:26
58Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 57 - Cell 2
59Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors0:05:53
60Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 59 - Cell 2
61Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:56
62Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:06:10
63Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin0:06:13
64Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJRow 63 - Cell 2
65Matej Mohoric (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 64 - Cell 2
66Juan Felipe Osorio (Col) Manzana Postobon0:06:34
67Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:07:14
68Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
69Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Dimension DataRow 68 - Cell 2
70Aldemar Reyes (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 69 - Cell 2
71Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:07:25
72Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:07:52
73Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal0:08:01
75Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 74 - Cell 2
76Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 75 - Cell 2
77Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ0:08:15
78Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky0:08:18
79Floris De Tier (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:08:19
80Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ0:08:21
81Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 80 - Cell 2
82Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:08:23
83Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:09:07
84Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:09:12
86Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:09:32
87Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:09:35
88Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:09:37
89Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:09:41
90David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky0:09:53
91Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 91 - Cell 2
93Ricardo Vilela (Por) Manzana PostobonRow 92 - Cell 2
94Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 93 - Cell 2
95Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team SunwebRow 96 - Cell 2
98Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La MondialeRow 97 - Cell 2
99Chad Haga (USA) Team SunwebRow 98 - Cell 2
100Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb0:10:01
101Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb0:10:04
102Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team SunwebRow 101 - Cell 2
103Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 102 - Cell 2
104Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:10:33
105Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:10:37
106Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 105 - Cell 2
107Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-ScottRow 106 - Cell 2
108Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 107 - Cell 2
109Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 108 - Cell 2
110Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 109 - Cell 2
111Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Orica-ScottRow 110 - Cell 2
112Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Drapac0:11:37
113Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 112 - Cell 2
114Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin0:11:47
115Hernando Bohórquez (Col) Manzana Postobon0:12:33
116Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:15:20
117Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 116 - Cell 2
118Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport0:19:17
119Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-SegafredoRow 118 - Cell 2
120Juan José Lobato (Spa) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 119 - Cell 2
121Sebastián Molano (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 120 - Cell 2
122Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) UAE Team EmiratesRow 121 - Cell 2
123Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 122 - Cell 2
124Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 123 - Cell 2
125Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 124 - Cell 2
126Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 125 - Cell 2
127Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 126 - Cell 2
128Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 127 - Cell 2
129Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 128 - Cell 2
130Rafael Reis (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 129 - Cell 2
131Bernardo Suaza (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 130 - Cell 2
132Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 131 - Cell 2
133Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 132 - Cell 2
134David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 133 - Cell 2
135Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team SunwebRow 134 - Cell 2
136Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 135 - Cell 2
137Fernando Orjuela (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 136 - Cell 2
138Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 137 - Cell 2
139Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJRow 138 - Cell 2
140Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 139 - Cell 2
141Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 140 - Cell 2
142Christian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 141 - Cell 2
143Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 142 - Cell 2
144Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJRow 143 - Cell 2
145Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 144 - Cell 2
146Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue SportRow 145 - Cell 2
147Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue SportRow 146 - Cell 2
148Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJRow 147 - Cell 2
149Rein Taaramäe (Est) Katusha-AlpecinRow 148 - Cell 2
150Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 149 - Cell 2
151Federico Zurlo (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 150 - Cell 2
152Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 151 - Cell 2
153Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:19:44
154Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:19:49
155Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-Scott0:20:36
156George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 155 - Cell 2
157Thomas Scully (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 156 - Cell 2
158Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-ScottRow 157 - Cell 2
159Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-DrapacRow 158 - Cell 2
160Adam Blythe (GBr) Aqua Blue SportRow 159 - Cell 2
161Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue SportRow 160 - Cell 2
162Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 161 - Cell 2
163Conor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue SportRow 162 - Cell 2
164Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:20:45
165Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 164 - Cell 2
166Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:21:08
167Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:21:17
168Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 167 - Cell 2
169Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:21:25
170Michael Mørkøv (Den) Katusha-AlpecinRow 169 - Cell 2
171Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step FloorsRow 170 - Cell 2
172Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue SportRow 171 - Cell 2
173Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 172 - Cell 2
174Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 173 - Cell 2
175Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 174 - Cell 2
176Magnus Cort (Den) Orica-Scott0:22:10
177Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 176 - Cell 2
178William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:24:04
179Toms Skujins (Lat) Cannondale-DrapacRow 178 - Cell 2
DNFJohan Le Bon (Fra) FDJRow 179 - Cell 2
DNFJens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 180 - Cell 2
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky25pts
2Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo10Row 5 - Cell 3
7David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Sprint 1 - km 160
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ4pts
2Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 2) Alto de Llorença, km 132.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team5pts
2Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJ3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Ricardo Vilela (Por) Manzana Postobon1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 (Cat. 1) Alto de Llorença, km 174
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky10pts
2Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin1Row 4 - Cell 3
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Most combative
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
2Astana Pro Team0:01:06
3Team Sky0:01:14
5UAE Team Emirates0:03:05
6Movistar Team0:03:21
7Team Lotto NL-Jumbo0:05:39
8Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:53
9AG2R La Mondiale0:06:58
10BMC Racing Team0:07:31
12Team Sunweb0:09:19
13Quick-Step Floors0:09:20
15Lotto Soudal0:10:24
16Manzana Postobon Team0:10:29
17Team Dimension Data0:10:37
18Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:13:28
22Aqua Blue Sport0:40:12
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General classification after stage 9
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky36:33:16
2Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott0:00:36
3Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:01:05
4Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:01:17
5Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:01:27
6David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:01:30
7Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:33
8Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac0:01:52
9Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott0:01:55
10Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:15
11Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:02:31
12Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:03:04
13Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:03:32
14Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:03:45
15Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:04:07
16Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:04:09
17Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates0:04:42
18Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:04:46
19Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team0:04:50
20Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon0:05:53
21Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data0:05:54
22Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates0:06:27