Quintana takes Vuelta command after Contador causes havoc

Chris Froome in fifth after losing ground on Vuelta a España’s leaders

Cyclist in action under a light rain during the ninth stage of the 69th Vuelta a España, of 185km between Carboneras de Guadazaon and Aramon Valdelinares. Photograph: Javier Lizon/EPA

Cyclist in action under a light rain during the ninth stage of the 69th Vuelta a España, of 185km between Carboneras de Guadazaon and Aramon Valdelinares. Photograph: Javier Lizon/EPA

 

Colombian Nairo Quintana snatched the overall leader’s red jersey on the Vuelta a España after Alberto Contador’s late attack caused havoc in a group of favourites in the ninth stage. Chris Froome dropped back to fifth.

Spain’s Contador jumped away from a group of top riders and built a small gap over his rivals some two kilometres from the finish of the 185km ride from Carboneras de Guadazaón.

Winner Anacona of Colombia won the stage after dropping his breakaway companions in the last climb, an 8km ascent at an average gradient of 6.6 per cent, moving up to fourth overall.

The Giro d’Italia winner Quintana and Spain’s Joaquim Rodríguez were the only riders who managed to catch Contador after the double Tour de France champion’s brutal acceleration left his rivals stuck on the tar on an unusually wet day on the Vuelta.

Contador was a surprise starter last weekend in Jerez de la Frontera after fracturing his shinbone in the 10th stage of the Tour de France last month.

Quintana now leads Contador by three seconds overall with the Colombian’s Movistar team-mate Alejandro Valverde of Spain, who started the day in the red jersey, dropping to third eight seconds off the pace.

Lampre-Merida rider Anacona dropped breakaway companions Bob Jungels of Luxembourg and Spain’s Javier Moreno with 6.5 km left and never looked back.

Monday is a rest day and Tuesday’s 10th stage is a 36.7km individual time trial.

- (Reuters)

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