Chris Froome insists Grand Tour double is possible after Vuelta a Espana runner-up spot

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Chris Froome insists Grand Tour double is possible after Vuelta a Espana runner-up spot

Nairo Quintana seals red jersey but Tour de France champion takes confidence from another podium finish

Team Sky’s Chris Froome says his second place at the Vuelta a Espana gives him confidence a Grand Tour double is possible to achieve.

Tour de France champion Froome ultimately could not overhaul Nairo Quintana’s overall advantage on the final mountain stage and rode into Madrid on Sunday (September 11) to claim second place overall.

It is the seventh time Froome has been on a Grand Tour podium, having now finished as Vuelta a Espana runner-up three times, with the 31-year-old admitting he paid the price for missing Quintana’s attack on stage 15.

Runner-up Chris Froome congratulates Vuelta a Espana winner Nairo Quintana – the Team Sky man insists a Grand Tour double can be achieved though (pic: Sirotti)

“I definitely think (the double) is possible,” he told TeamSky.com. “I’ve finished second here and I won the Tour. So I came close, and I’ll have to be back again in the future to try again. Maybe that could be my objective for next year.

“I think we learnt a lesson on stage 15 and we weren’t prepared at the beginning of the stage. Inevitably that cost us the race – but I think we can still be happy with what we’ve achieved here.

“Second place overall, winning the team time trial, winning on Pena Cabarga was a special day for me, and also the time trial.

“So I think all in all I’m certainly going into the off season looking forward to spending some time with the family, and happy with how things have gone.”

Despite Froome clawing back more than two minutes in the stage 19 individual time trial, Quintana resisted his attacks on the final mountain stage to seal the red jersey – the 2014 Giro d’Italia champion’s second Grand Tour win.

Johan Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange), who moved back ahead of Alberto Contador on the Alto de Aitana finished third overall, and team-mate Magnus Cort Neilsen capped a great Vuelta for the Australian team by winning the final stage.

British rider Simon Yates, meanwhile, finished sixth overall for the Australian team – the second Brit to bag a Grand Tour top ten for Orica-BikeExchange this season after twin brother Adam’s fourth place at the Tour de France.

Froome, Quintana and Johan Esteban Chaves celebrate on the final podium – this is Froome’s seventh Grand Tour podium finish (pic: Sirotti)

Vuelta a Espana 2016: final general classification

1) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar – 80.42.36hrs
2) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +1.23
3) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-BikeExchange +4.08
4) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Tinkoff +4.21
5) Andrew Talansky (USA) – Cannondale-Drapac +7.43
6) Simon Yates (GBR) – Orica-BikeExchange +8.33
7) David de la Cruz (ESP) – Etixx-QuickStep +11.18
8) Daniel Moreno (ESP) – Movistar +13.04
9) Davide Formolo (ITA) – Cannondale-Drapac +13.17
10) George Bennett (NZL) – Team LottoNL-Jumbo +14.07

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