Vuelta a Espana: Nairo Quintana takes lead as Chris Froome suffers
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 28/08/16 12:08pm
Chris Froome suffered a difficult day at the Vuelta a Espana as Nairo Quintana moved into the overall lead with a superb late attack on stage eight’s steep summit finish at La Camperona.
Froome (Team Sky) initiated the battle between the overall contenders by accelerating about 1.3km from the finish and distancing both Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff).
However, he couldn't shake off Quintana (Movistar) and when the Colombian launched a counter-attack about 200m later, Froome had no answer and fell away.
He eventually finished 5min 14sec down on breakaway winner Sergey Lagutin (Katusha) in 15th place on the day, 33 seconds behind Quintana and eight seconds adrift of Contador, who found a second wind and caught and passed him in the last 100m.
With previous race leader Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing) having earlier been dropped, Quintana moves to the top of the general classification and opens up leads of 19 seconds over second-placed Valverde and 27 seconds over third-placed Froome.
Froome 'surviving' at Vuelta
Chris Froome said he is “surviving” at the Vuelta a Espana after losing time on stage eight
Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) slips to 57 seconds adrift in fourth after a poor display, while Contador rises to seventh and is now 1min 39sec off the red jersey.
Contador performed far better than expected given that he crashed on Friday and started stage eight with heavy bandaging on his left leg, while Quintana produced his best display of the summer and now appears to be the strongest climber in the race.
Lagutin, meanwhile, entered the final 500m of one of the most difficult climbs in professional cycling side by side with Axel Domont (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie) after a ferocious tussle, but he then cracked his fellow breakaway riders with a decisive attack about 100m out.
Lagutin said: "Finally, the dream came true. I was dreaming since I was little to win a stage of a Grand Tour. I still can't believe this has happened to me. I am 35 years old and at some point I thought, 'That is probably it'."
The Vuelta continues on Sunday with a 164.5km ninth stage starting in Cistierna and ending with a category-two summit finish at Alto del Naranco in Oviedo. Find out more about the route in our race guide and follow the action with our live blog from 3pm BST.
Stage eight result
1 Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Katusha, 4:09:30
2 Axel Domont (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +10sec
3 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie, +17
4 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida, +24
5 Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step, +40
6 Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data, +55
7 Scott Thwaites (GB) Bora-Argon 18, +1:11
8 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Astana, +1:30
9 Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha, same time
10 Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, +1:44
12 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +4:41
13 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff, +5:06
15 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +5:14
16 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, st
20 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange, +5:38
1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, 29:55:54
2 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, +19sec
3 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +27
4 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange, +57
5 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky, +1:16
6 Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing, +1:36
7 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff, +1:39
8 Daniel Moreno (Esp) Movistar, +1:44
9 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step, +1:46
10 Samuel Sanchez (Esp) BMC Racing, same time