Froome loses time on leaders as Martin and Roche stay close to front

Froome loses time on leaders as Martin and Roche stay close to front

Tour de France champion Chris Froome suffered a blow in his bid to add the Vuelta a Espana title on Friday’s seventh stage to La Alpujarra.

The 30-year-old Team Sky leader finished one minute three seconds behind stage winner Bert-Jan Lindeman (Lotto-Jumbo) on the first real mountain test of the Tour of Spain.

Froome fell to 1min 22secs behind Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), who retained the race leader’s red jersey.

Chaves was sixth on the stage as Lindeman won ahead of Ilia Koshevoy (Lampre-Merida).

Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) was 10th, 36secs behind, and sits fourth overall, 36secs adrift.

He finished one place ahead of his cousin Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) in 11th, who maintains his third position, 33secs behind Chaves.

Froome and Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) lost contact in the final two kilometres of the 191km stage from Jodar.

Froome conceded 27secs to the Chaves group by the stage finish.

Fabio Aru (Astana) was the main beneficiary on the day, accelerating out of the group of general classification contenders and finishing third, seven seconds ahead of his rivals.

Chaves leads Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) by 10secs, with Martin and Roche next in the standings.

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