The power, the pain and the glory: how Chris Froome won the 2017 Vuelta a Espana

Twenty brilliant images showcasing the highs and lows of Chris Froome's maiden Vuelta a Espana triumph

Chris Froome’s maiden Vuelta a Espana triumph saw him take over the red jersey on stage three at Andorra la Vella and carry it all the way to Madrid.

The Team Sky man – the first British rider ever to win the race – eventually finished with a winning margin of 2’15” to second-placed Vincenzo Nibali, and also won the green points jersey (and white combination jersey) in the process.

And while it may ultimately look like a convincing win, on the road it was anything but as the race ebbed and flowed throughout the three weeks.

Chris Froome is the first British rider ever to win the Vuelta a Espana after completing his historic Tour-Vuelta double (Pic: Sirotti)

Froome won two stages, a mountain stage to Cumbre del Sol and a time trial to Logrono, but also had to bounce back from crashes and struggling on the brutal slopes of Los Machucos.

Ultimately, however, he finished third on the penutlimate stage, on the fierce Alto de l’Angliru, to ride into Paris in the red jersey and seal an historic Tour-Vuelta double.

Here, in 20 stunning images, is how Chris Froome won the 2017 Vuelta a Espana…

Team Sky started the 2017 Vuelta a Espana in strong form with fourth place in the opening time trial, allowing Froome to gain time on nearly all of his GC rivals. The course, in Nimes, passed through the Roman ampitheathre (Pic: Sirotti)
He pulled on the red jersey for the first time after stage three, during which Team Sky had blown the peloton apart in Andorra. Froome attacked over the top of the final climb but had to settle for third place on the day, and the red jersey, after Vincenzo Nibali bridged across and sprinted to victory (Pic: Sirotti)
Froome altered his preparations this season with the aim of peaking later in the year, and was able to take full advantage as he recovered well from his Tour de France win to take control of the Vuelta (Pic: Sirotti)
Team Sky too were in dominant form, with Froome on the radio to thank his team-mates here after Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels and Gianni Moscon - his three key domestiques at the critical points in each stage - had led him and the peloton across the finish line on stage seven (Pic: Sirotti)
Froome's form showed on the Xorret de Catí climb, as only Alberto Contador was able to stick with him on the climb (Pic: Sirotti)
One criticism of Froome at the Tour de France was that, for the first time in any of his four triumphs, he won the yellow jersey without winning a stage. He ensured that wouldn't be the case at the Vuelta a Espana after accelerating away from his rivals on the Cumbre del Sol climb (Pic: Sirotti)
And his celebrations upon crossing the line showed exactly what the victory meant to him (Pic: Sirotti)
It was not all straightforward for Froome - stage 11 to Calar Alto was one in which he was tested to his very limit by the climbs... (Pic: Sirotti)
...but even on a bad day he was digging deep to accelerate away from his rivals and add to his overall lead. Froome finished second on the stage, behind solo winner Miguel Angel Lopez (Pic: Sirotti)
The following day was also anything but straightforward, as the red jersey crashed twice on the final descent, but his team-mates rallied to cut his losses as he chased back on behind the peloton. He ultimately lost just 20 seconds because of the incidents (Pic: Sirotti)
Froome's torn bib shorts serve as evidence of the day's tribulations, but he avoided serious injury and retained the red jersey (Pic: Sirotti)
Froome allayed any fears of serious injury by finishing seventh the following day on a highly technical sprint finale. His attentiveness not only kept him in the race lead, and saw him gain time on some rivals caught behind a split, but also ensured he continued to add to his points classification lead (Pic: Sirotti)
After carrying the red jersey into the second rest day, Froome extended his overall advantage with his second stage win as he dominated the stage 16 time trial. Last man out onto the course, Froome was 29 seconds clear of his nearest challenger on the day, Wilco Kelderman, and only five riders in the entire peloton finished the 40.2km course within a minute of Froome (Pic: Sirotti)
He paid for his time trial efforts a little the following day, however, on the brutally steep and inconsistent Los Machucos climb. Froome finished 14th on the day, led in by team-mate Mikel Nieve, after ceding 42 seconds to Vincenzo Nibali (Pic: Sirotti)
He snatched 20 of those seconds back the following day, however, with a well-timed attack at the end of stage 18 (Pic: Sirotti)
The real test of his credentials was always going to come on the final mountain stage up the Alto de l'Angliru, however. And while Alberto Contador took a popular solo win to close out his career, Froome was in scintillating form just behind. With team-mate Wout Poels for company, Froome distanced the rest of his rivals to all-but-seal the red jersey (Pic: Sirotti)
Froome and Poels celebrate their performance on the Angliru. The Dutchman went on to finish sixth overall himself - his best ever Grand Tour finish (Pic: Sirotti)
Froome rode into Madrid on a red Pinarello Dogma F10 as he celebrated his famous victory. There was still one task left to do, however... (Pic: Sirotti)
Alongside winning the red jersey, Froome also win the green points classification jersey thanks to an 11th-place finish on the final day. It was just enough to beat Matteo Trentin by two points after three weeks of consistent performances (Pic: Sirotti)
Froome is the first man to win the Tour de France and then go on to win the Vuelta a Espana in the same year, and only the third man to do the double in the same season after Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault (who both achieved their doubles when the Vuelta was the first Grand Tour on the calendar). He is the first Brit to win the Vuelta a Espana and, following Alberto Contador's retirement, is now the most successful Grand Tour rider in the current peloton with his 2017 Tour-Vuelta double taking him to five Grand Tour wins in his career. He has also finished runner-up on four occasions - three times at the Vuelta and once at the Tour - and can now also add the Vuelta's points and combination jerseys to the King of the Mountains jersey he won at the 2015 Tour de France (Pic: Sirotti)
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