Froome finishes strong after Vuelta tumble
ALCAUDETE, Spain (AP) — A series of nasty falls forced an injured Chris Froome to abandon his Tour de France title defense last month.
The British rider tumbled off this bike again on Friday, but this time he got back on and finished strong to cut into his rivals’ times at the Spanish Vuelta.
Froome fell on the first climb of the hilly 169-kilometer (105-mile) ride, with televised images showing a bloody cut on his right hip.
After his team’s car arrived to change his battered bike, Froome caught up with the peloton. He then used a burst of speed at the finish line to nip two seconds away from the other top riders.
“I’m feeling okay, but you definitely get the feeling that when bad luck comes, it comes more than once,” Froome said. “But all things considered I’m feeling all right and I think I got off relatively unscathed.”
Froome is in fourth place now at 20 seconds behind race leader Alejandro Valverde after seven stages. Nairo Quintana is in second place at 15 seconds back, while Alberto Contador trails by 18 seconds.
“I’ll definitely take that after a stage like today,” Froome said. “At the end of the race you might need all the seconds you can to defend your place. I’ll keep chipping away.”