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Team Sky’s Chris Froome edged closer to adding a historic Vuelta a Espana triumph to his 2017 Tour de France victory as he prevailed in Stage 16’s individual time trial on Tuesday, extending his lead at the top of the general classification to one minute, 58 seconds. 

Froome was imperious as he blitzed the rest of the field with a winning time of 47 minutes over the 40.2-kilometre run, beating second-placed Wilco Kelderman by 29 seconds.

GC contenders Vincenzo Nibali, who finished third on the stage, and Ilnur Zakarin both posted fine times, while Trek-Segafredo’s Alberto Contador, 34, put in an outstanding performance for fifth place.

But none could get anywhere near Froome, who now has a comfortable cushion to the rest of the field as they enter the final stages of this year’s Vuelta.

Cycling Hub provided the stage result and updated general classification:

Team Sky provided the profile and full details for the stage:

Froome pushed his lead to over a minute on Sunday’s Stage 15 ahead of Monday’s rest day and many predicted the Briton to triumph on the only individual time trial of the 2017 Vuelta and tighten his grip on the red jersey, per the Guardian‘s William Fotheringham.

The first significant benchmark from the earlier starters was set by 20-year-old Sunweb rider Lennard Kamna, who posted a time of 48:30, before FDJ’s Tobias Ludvigsson produced a very impressive 48:07.

Spaniard Contador, who started the day ninth in the GC standings, then pushed the benchmark below 48 minutes with a special 47:59 run in front of his home crowd.

Of those to come in behind the multiple Grand Tour winner, it initially looked as though only Kelderman and Froome would top him.

But Zakarin and Nibali both finished strongly to push Contador down the rankings. 

It was a very impressive ride from Sunweb’s Kelderman, who knocked 30 seconds off Contador’s time when he crossed the finish line in Logrono to take top spot for a spell. 

Froome, though, was simply a cut above the field and got stronger and stronger before storming home for the stage win.

Per Cycling writer Felix Lowe, the four-time Tour de France winner is now even closer to a maiden triumph in the Vuelta a Espana:

Wednesday’s Stage 17 sees a return to the mountains for the peloton as they tackle some brutal climbs in the 180.5-kilometre run from Villadiego to Los Machucos.

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