Chris Froome hits the deck on seventh stage of the Vuelta a Espana but bounces back to gain two seconds over rivals at finish

Chris Froome‘s run of poor luck has carried on in the Vuelta a Espana, where he was caught up in a crash during stage seven on Friday and came away nursing cuts and grazes on his right elbow, knee and thigh.

The Team Sky leader had to change a bike and receive medical attention during the stage to cover up his wounds in a scene that brought back memories of his crashes during the Tour de France, and which saw him take an early exit.

The incident caused concern at Team Sky as Froome lost ground quickly. The British squad’s riders had to pace him back up to the peloton over lumpy terrain, a chase which took 15 kilometres to complete.

“I’m feeling okay, but you definitely get the feeling that when bad luck comes it comes more than once,” Froome said via the Team Sky website after the stage. “But all things considered I’m feeling all right and I think I got off relatively unscathed. It’s good to have another day behind us now.”

“When the crash happened a Giant-Shimano rider went down in front of me just to my left. I swerved to try and avoid that and went down. Then the guys paced me back. It took us a good 15km before we got back into the peloton.”

Froome appeared to be ultimately unfazed by the incident and put in a sprint in the stage’s finale to gain two valuable seconds over his key general classification rivals.

Along with seconds gained by contesting an intermediate sprint earlier in the race, Froome is steadily clawing back the 27-second deficit Team Sky suffered over Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana’s Movistar squad during the opening team time trial. He now lies in fourth place, 20 seconds down on race leader Valverde.

“At the end of the race you might need all the seconds you can to defend your place. I’ll keep chipping away and get closer to the time trial,” said Froome.

Chris Froome after a crash on stage seven of the 2014 Tour of Spain

Chris Froome after a crash on stage seven of the 2014 Tour of Spain

  • NOC40

    So much for the much-hyped Dogma F8. Not so great going fast if you keep falling off. Or is it the tyres? Any idea which ones Sky use?

  • poisonjunction

    Gaining seconds here and there could be a new Sky strategy. Their earlier attitude demeaned gaining odd seconds – could Sir ‘all his eggs in one basket’ Brailsford be having a change of ‘heart’, particularly with Movistars two pronged, so far successful, team plan, he personally ‘dismissed’? Unfortunately it’s now too late to woo his early protege back to the start line, so where is the next hungry rider? Sky’s once mighty supremacy seems on the wane, but at least the drug ‘addicts’ that flooded these and other pages have left the room.

    This will be a hard Vuelta for Chris Froome to win convincingly with multiple stage wins, and in my opinion anything less won’t ‘square the circle’ for 2014.
    He did have strong help today getting to the front near the finish, but he won’t be so lucky on mountain top finishes – he could take a leaf out of the Cavendish Rule book, ie viewing other strong riders as teammates he can take advantage of, but not dictate to.

    Elsewhere a commentator described Froome and Contador as riding ‘pedal for pedal’ – obviously neither rider were correctly identified, as Froome consistently rides at a far higher cadence than anyone including Contador, who by contrast can only turn his gear over by staying out of the saddle [in readiness for the next handy motor cycle outrider!!]

    ,,,,, sent from a comfortably upholstered desk chair in deepest Kent!!