Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome loses ground on Quintana

Gianluca Brambilla won stage 15 from Sabinanigo to a finish on the Aramon Formigal

Etixx-Quick Step cyclist Gianluca Brambilla celebrates on the podium after winning the 15th stage of the 71st edition of “La Vuelta” Tour of Spain, a 120km route Sabinanigo to Formigal. Photo: Jose Jordan/Getty Images

Etixx-Quick Step cyclist Gianluca Brambilla celebrates on the podium after winning the 15th stage of the 71st edition of “La Vuelta” Tour of Spain, a 120km route Sabinanigo to Formigal. Photo: Jose Jordan/Getty Images

 

Chris Froome lost almost three minutes on overall leader Nairo Quintana as Gianluca Brambilla won stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana.

Movistar’s Quintana and Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador were among a large group that broke away from the peloton early in the 118.5-kilometre stage, from Sabinanigo to a summit finish on the Aramon Formigal in Sallent de Gallego.

Each had two team-mates in the breakaway while Froome was left to lead the chasing pack with little support from his Team Sky colleagues, aside from David Lopez.

The leading group pulled two minutes clear climbing the Alto de Petralba and kept pushing, Team Dimension Data’s Omar Fraile taking the three climbing points on offer there and five more on the Alto de Cotefablo.

Contador took two intermediate sprint points but it was Quintana who surged away along with Brambilla with 1.5km to go.

Brambilla won the stage by three seconds but Quintana, crucially, finished two minutes and 37 seconds ahead of Froome to take his overall lead over the second-placed Briton to 3:37. Esteban Chaves (Orica Bike-Exchange) lies third, a further 20 seconds back, with Contador fourth and Chaves’ British team-mate Simon Yates fifth.

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