Froome back to top form on Peña Cabarga

Chris Froome climbed to a thrilling stage win atop the Peña Cabarga to move up to second overall at the Vuelta a Espana.

Froome kept pace with his rivals up the famous six kilometre climb and then followed the attack of race leader Nairo Quintana in the final kilometre of stage 11, before rounding the Colombian to take a resounding victory.

Speaking after the stage, Froome referenced his stage win atop the same climb in the 2011 Vuelta. He said: “I’ve got some special memories here from 2011 and today adds to that. It’s an incredible feeling.

“Quintana is really strong at the moment. He has the leader’s jersey and I’m just trying to do as much as I can day by day, and hopefully I can keep getting closer to him.

“I just want to thank my team-mates for all the hard work they’ve done and also my family at home, for all the motivation and support, because at this point in the season after all the work I’ve done, it’s really tough for me at the moment. A big thank you to them. I’m looking forward to coming home soon.”

Froome’s teammate, Leopold Konig, came home in the same time as Alejandro Valverde and spoke of his happiness and form after the stage. He said: “I’m happy. We executed a plan. It’s nice. We’ve won a stage and finally I could pull a little bit for Chris.

“After a rest day you never know how you’ll feel, but we are pretty on it. Let’s hope for a better second part of the race.

“On the Covadonga [on stage 10] I lacked the endurance because I’ve had so few racing days this year. I was a long time injured. But I think I can be up there in the hard climbs in the Pyrenees, play a wild card for Chris and occasionally help him.”

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