CHRIS Froome cut into Alberto Contador’s lead as the Spaniard let potentially vital seconds slip at stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana.

Froome finished the stage second as Italy’s Fabio Aru sprinted to victory in the 161 km stretch from Pontevedra to Monte Castrove. 

Whilst the British rider moved up to second overall, Contador became embroiled in petty tactics with compatriots Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez which saw all three Spaniards lose vital time in their pursuits of the red jersey.

With three stages remaining Contador remains in the driving seat to claim the overall victory.

Today’s stage 19 sees riders tackle a gruelling 180 km ride from Salvaterra de Mino to Cangas do Morrazo.

Stage 18 result:

1. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) 3hrs 47mins 17secs

2. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +1sec

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +13secs

4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) same time

5. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff-Saxo) same time

6. Samuel Sanchez (Spa/BMC Racing) +17secs

7. Daniel Navarro (Spa/Cofidis) +33secs

8. Daniel Moreno (Spa/Katusha) +48secs

9. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Cannondale) same time

10. Warren Barguil (Fra/Giant) same time

Overall classification after stage 18:

1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff-Saxo) 71hrs 38mins 37secs

2. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +1min 19secs

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +1min 32secs

4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +2mins 29secs

5. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +3mins 15secs

6. Daniel Martin (Irl/Garmin) +6mins 52secs

7. Samuel Sanchez (Spa/BMC Racing) +6mins 59secs

8. Warren Barguil (Fra/Giant) +9mins 12secs

9. Daniel Navarro (Spa/Cofidis) +9mins 44secs

10. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Cannondale) +9mins 45secs


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