Vuelta (st. 16) / Tour of Britain (st. 3)
Oliveira 24th into long, demanding TT in Navarra and La Rioja as Froome (SKY) reinforces leadership with second stage win. Bennati takes 9th place in yet another sprint finish in England
Briton Chris Froome (SKY) strengthened his lead in the 2017 Vuelta a España with a convincing victory at Tuesday's 40.2km individual time trial from the Circuito de Navarra to Logroño, 27" ahead of Wilco Kelderman (SUN). The TT ridden on the Movistar Team's home soil helped the Blues kick off with energy a final week with lots of mountains in all four stages remaining before Madrid.
Nelson Oliveira finished in 24th place, 2'47" behind the winner, over a long, demanding parcours with weaker winds than expected -crosswinds for the final riders on the start list-, while team-mates Soler (35th), Carapaz, Moreno, Rojas and Pedrero put on fine efforts before a monstruous stage in Cantabria tomorrow: Los Machucos (HC) will put a 28%-gradient end to an already tough 181km journey from Villadiego, up in the 'Meseta'. Before the last 7km uphill, the bunch will also have to tackle the 'puertos' of Lunada (Cat-2) and Alisas (Cat-1).
Tour of Britain: Bennati 9th under the rain
It was also a grueling ride for the Movistar Team's riders at the Tour of Britain with soaking rain all over the course, even if Scunthorpe's final slopes on stage three (185km) did not prevent yet another bunch sprint to happen as Ewan (ORS) grabbed his second win. Italian Daniele Bennati, 9th at the finish, was again the top Blue performer in a race set to cover again some slopes on Wednesday's stage four finish at Newark-on-Trent (165km), just before the crucial, 10-mile ITT in Clacton on Thursday. Gorka Izagirre was also attentive at the finish to take 14th place.
Picture(c): Photo Gomez Sport