Vuelta a Espana 2017: Chris Froome extends lead as Miguel Angel Lopez wins stage 15 - Road Cycling UK

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Vuelta a Espana 2017: Chris Froome extends lead as Miguel Angel Lopez wins stage 15

Astana man solos to win on Alto Hoya de la Mora as Froome's lead goes back above one minute

Red jersey Chris Froome (Team Sky) gained time on the summit finish of the Alto Hoya de la Mora as Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) claimed stage victory.

Lopez accelerated away from the GC group, catching and passing Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), who had attacked earlier on the climb, after also distancing Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) too.

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) attacked from the GC group to take second place, ahead of Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), jumping above the Dutchman into third overall as a result.

Froome, meanwhile, claimed fifth place – six seconds clear of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) – to stretch his overall lead back above the minute mark.

Miguel Angel Lopez won stage 15 of the 2017 Tour de France (Pic: Sirotti)

At 129km in length the stage had potential to rip apart the GC, but it took some time for a breakaway to go clear and, when they did, there was no threat to the red jersey within it.

Matteo Trentin (QuickStep Floors) claimed points at the intermediate sprint, but the eight-strong breakaway splintered on the Alto de Hazallanas, as did the Astana-led peloton.

Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing) was the most notable casualty from the main bunch, while Adam Yates and Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) were among those to attack from the front.

Bardet, Yates and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) caught lone leader Sander Armee (Lotto-Soudal) on the Alto del Purche, but the action behind them was lighting up too as Contador and Lopez set off in pursuit.

Team Sky led the reduced peloton but did not react, even as Contador and Lopez joined up with the leaders and Yates attacked solo to take maximum climbing points at the summit.

The climb opened straight on to the Alto Hoya de la Mora, where Nibali attacked from the bunch, but this time Sky did react and Mikel Nieve gave the Bahrain-Merida man no room for manoeuvre.

Yates continued to lead solo, but he was caught by Lopez – who had distanced Contador – and cracked with four kilometres to go as the Colombian went clear on his own.

Bardet and Contador were swept up by the 15-strong GC group, from which Zakarin attacked to take second – his efforts, and those of the peloton to shut it down, shelling Contador out the back.

Wout Poels leads the GC group up the Alto Hoya de la Mora (Pic: Sirotti)

Kelderman took third, could not stop Zakarin moving ahead of him overall, while Froome gained six seconds on Nibali at the finish line – enough to carry a 1’01” lead into the second rest day.

He will now look to rest up and extend his advantage in Tuesday’s time trial – a 40km test to Logrono.

Tour de France 2017: stage 15 – result

1) Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) – Astana – 3.34.51hrs
2) Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) – Katusha-Alpecin +36”
3) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Team Sunweb +45”
4) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-Scott +47”
5) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – ST
6) Michael Woods (CAN) – Cannondale-Drapac +50”
7) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida +53”
8) Wout Poels (NED) – Team Sky – ST
9) Louis Meintjes (RSA) – UAE Team Emirates
10) Pello Bilbao (ESP) – Astana +1.02

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 62.06.25hrs
2) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida +1.01
3) Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) – Katusha-Alpecin +2.08
4) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Team Sunweb +2.11
5) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-Scott +2.39
6) Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) – Astana +2.51
7) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +3.24
8) Michael Woods (CAN) – Cannondale-Drapac +3.26
9) Alberto Contador (ESP) -Trek-Segafredo +3.59
10) Wout Poels (NED) – Team Sky +5.22

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