Wednesday September 6th, 2017

Stage 17Villadiego / Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega

Start 12h40 (Local time)

Denifl climbs on top, Froome struggles

Stage summary06.09.2017Stage 17- Villadiego / Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega

The brutal climb of Los Machucos offered the show everyone expected at the end of stage 17 of La Vuelta 2017: Stefan Denifl (Aqua Blue Sport) soloed away to a brilliant victory while Chris Froome (Team Sky) was unable to follow his rivals on extremely steep slopes (up to 26%). Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) was the strongest of the GC contenders to finish second on the day. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) finished fourth with Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) to gain 42” on Froome. The British rider retains the red jersey for a 15th consecutive day at La Vuelta 2017 but his position as GC leader is weakened four days ahead of the finish at Madrid.

162 riders tackled stage 17 as the youngest rider of La Vuelta 2017 Lennard Kämna (Team Sunweb) and Daniel Oss (BMC) were non-starters. After 13km, Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott), Dani Moreno (Movistar) and Stefan Denifl (Aqua Blue Sport) were already travelling ahead of the bunch. They were joined by Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) and Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac) at km 27 to form a 6 man breakaway that would enjoy a maximum lead of 9'15” 70km into the stage.

Miguel Angel Lopez' Astana and Rafal Majka's Bora-Hansgrohe then decided to up the tempo in the peloton. Their efforts brought the gap down to 5 minutes at the bottom of the first climb of the day, the portillo de Lunada. In the downhill, with a poor visibility due to the fog, Davide Villella was distanced from the leading group while Bahrain-Merida turned the heat on in the bunch. Rafal Majka was the main victim of this acceleration while the gap was reduced under 3 minutes ahead of the main challenges of the day.

Majka got back at the bottom of the penultimate climb. Orica-Scott tried to enjoy the puerto de Alisas for a long range offensive. Esteban Chaves and Adam Yates went first. David De La Cruz followed them with some stage hunters but Team Sky kept things under control. In the downhill, Jack Haig (Orica-Scott) joined Cort Nielsen to try and challenge for the stage victory, unsuccessfully.

Stefan Denifl made the most of the brutal slopes of the alto de Los Machucos to solo away from his last breakaway companions. In the favourites group, Chris Froome (Team Sky) couldn't react when Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) accelerated with 6km to go. He was also unable to follow Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) as the Italian set a hard pace. Contador finished second of the stage only 28” behind Denifl. With a delay of 1'04”, Lopez, Nibali and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) were still 42” ahead of Froome.

  • Denifl climbs on top, Froome struggles

    The brutal climb of Los Machucos offered the show everyone expected at the end of stage 17 of La Vuelta 2017: Stefan Denifl (Aqua Blue Sport) soloed away to a brilliant victory while Chris Froome (Team Sky) was unable to follow his rivals on extremely steep slopes (up to 26%). Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) was the strongest of the GC contenders to finish second on the day. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) finished fourth with Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) to gain 42” on Froome. The...

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Stage 17 Villadiego / Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega

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