FROOME SET FOR TOUR/VUELTA DOU­BLE

Wales On Sunday - - SPORT -

CHRIS Froome is set to be­come the first man to win the Tour de France and La Vuelta in the same year since 1978 af­ter de­fend­ing the red jer­sey in Satur­day’s penul­ti­mate stage.

Froome fin­ished be­hind stage win­ner Al­berto Con­ta­dor on Alto de l’Angliru to ex­tend his ad­van­tage at the top of the gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion with just Sun­day’s pro­ces­sional stage into Madrid to come.

Froome will be­come the first Bri­ton to win La Vuelta and only the third man to com­plete the Tour-Vuelta dou­ble - and first since the race switched from April to its present postTour po­si­tion in 1995.

Trek-Se­gafredo’s Con­ta­dor took a sen­sa­tional and emo­tional solo vic­tory in his fi­nal grand tour be­fore re­tire­ment but came 20 sec­onds short of a place on the podium.

Be­hind him, Froome and Team Sky lieu­tenant Wout Poels crossed the line 17 sec­onds later, ex­tend­ing the Bri­ton’s lead to two min­utes 15 sec­onds in the gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion af­ter clos­est ri­val Vin­cenzo Nibali strug­gled on the fi­nal climb fol­low­ing an ear­lier crash.

Froome will fi­nally get his hands on a sec­ond of the three grand tours pro­vid­ing he safely crosses the line in to­day’s pro­ces­sional fi­nal stage into Madrid.

Froome said, in quotes re­ported by Cycling News: “It’s an ab­so­lute in­cred­i­ble feel­ing, and what a way to end such a mas­sive three weeks of racing, hav­ing com­pleted the TourVuelta dou­ble, that’s an amaz­ing feel­ing.”

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