Stage 15 | Sabiñánigo – Aramon Formigal, Sallent de Gállego | Vuelta a España 2016
September 4 | In a packed episode of The Telegraph Cycling Podcast from the Vuelta a Espana, Lionel Birnie witnesses Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador dash Chris Froome’s hopes of winning the race with a daring attack on stage 15 to Formigal.
Although Froome is not completely out of contention, the Team Sky leader has a mountain to climb if he is to unseat Quintana.
The stage was short – just 118km – and sweet for Quintana, who reacted quickly when Contador attacked almost from the gun. Froome was left isolated, and without Sky team-mates to help chase. He turned to Orica-Bike Exchange, because Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates had also missed the move, and then received some slightly unlikely assistance from Astana.
Amid all the drama, Gianluca Brambilla’s excellent stage victory for Etixx-Quick Step was perhaps a little overlooked.
The main bunch – or gruppetto – came in almost 54 minutes after the stage winner, well outside the time limit leaving the race jury with a conundrum. Could they eliminated more than half the field for slow riding?
Lionel joins Daniel Friebe to discuss all this and much more. We hear from Sky’s Dario Cioni about their bad day at the office and from Tinkoff’s Steven De Jongh, who raised eyebrows at Astana giving Sky a helping hand. There’s also a quick chat with yesterday’s stage winner Robert Gesink.
The Telegraph Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Eurosport.