Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome 'surviving' after stage eight struggle
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 27/08/16 7:24pm
Chris Froome said he is “surviving” at the Vuelta a Espana after losing time to both Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador on stage eight.
Froome initiated the battle between the overall favourites on the steep climb to the summit finish at La Camperona by attacking with 1.3km to go but later cracked and finished 33 seconds behind Quintana and eight seconds down on Contador.
The result leaves him third overall, 27 seconds adrift of new leader Quintana and eight seconds back from second-placed Alejandro Valverde.
Quintana leads as Froome wilts
Chris Froome suffered a difficult day at the Vuelta a Espana as Nairo Quintana moved into the lead
Froome said: "It was a tough climb and Nairo showed he was in good condition, so chapeau to him.
"Alberto did great, too, particularly after yesterday's crash. That shows he's a fighter. As for myself, I'm surviving."
Quintana easily followed Froome's initial acceleration and then breezed past and away from the Briton with a counter-attack about 200m later.
"This was my main expectation for the day: trying and putting some time on our rivals," he said. "We were waiting for Froome's attack, which obviously came, and we had energy enough to respond to it.
"I was coming to this Vuelta with lots of ambition, like in every single Grand Tour I start, but it always boosts your confidence to see you're a little bit ahead of your rivals for one day.
"It's never soon to get a leader's jersey. It's better to be ahead with a few seconds than trying desperately to make them up from behind."