Could Britain be in line for its first ever Vuelta a Espana win? Certainly the prospect took a step in the right direction yesterday (Wednesday, September 7) when Team Sky’s Chris Froome unleashed a blistering attack to steal a win on Stage 17 – the 211km leg, Faustino V to Peña Cabarga – from Juan Jose Cobo of Geox. Although the Spanish rider retained the overall leader’s red jersey, Froome’s win across a thrilling head to head hill climb finish took 9 seconds off Cobo’s lead with a combination of the 1 second win and the stage’s awarded time bonus. The victory marked the first time in more than two decades that a Brit has won a mountain finish in a major race; the last to do so was Robert Millar in the 1989 Tour de France.
With fours stages still to run on the Vuelta before riders reach the final in the country’s capital Madrid on Sunday (September 11) things can, naturally, still change dramatically, but with Froome sitting pretty in second place on the overall standings and his Sky team mate Bradley Wiggins still in third Cyclo has their collective fingers crossed for a patriotic podium.