Sun, Sep 03, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Trentin seals Vuelta stage treble, Froome keeps lead

AFP, TOMARES, Spain

Quick-Step Floors rider Matteo Trentin of Italy celebrates after winning the 13th stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Tomares, Spain, on Friday.

Photo: EPA

Italian sprinter Matteo Trentin on Friday claimed his third victory of the Vuelta a Espana on stage 13 while Chris Froome finished safely among the chasing pack to retain his overall lead.

Quick-Step Floors rider Trentin continued his dominance on the few sprint stages of the largely mountainous three-week trek around Spain by pipping compatriot Gianni Moscon and Denmark’s Soren Kragh Andersen to the line in a time of 4 hours, 25 minutes, 13 seconds.

Trentin was also victorious on stages four and 10, and Quick-Step have now won five stages in total.

“It’s amazing, I came to this race with confidence, but never expected anything like this,” Trentin said. “For the team, the Vuelta is not finished and we are betting for more.”

Froome lost time due to a mechanical problem and a crash in Thursday’s 12th stage, but he stayed alert near the front of the peloton to finish seventh on the 198.4km ride from Coin to Tomares.

The Briton, who is aiming to become just the third rider to win the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same year, retains a 59-second lead over Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali.

Yesterday’s stage promised another showdown between the race favorites, with a grueling uncategorized climb to end a 175km ride from Ecija to Sierra de La Pandera.

“It’s very difficult to predict what is going to happen in this Vuelta. As we saw yesterday, things can change so quickly,” Froome said. “Tomorrow’s final is very steep. I expect guys like Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali want to make up time at this stage of the race.”

“I expect a very aggressive ride from them,” he added.

Another summit finish also awaits on the Sierra Nevada today, and Froome is expecting this weekend to be decisive in his quest to finally win the Vuelta after three second-place finishes.

“Sunday’s stage is going to be even harder again up in the Sierra Nevada, over 2,500m,” Froome said. “For sure, at the end of a really tough week, we are going to see some really big time gaps in these next two stages.”

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