Chris Froome braced for Alberto Contador attack on stage 11 summit finish at Vuelta a España
Calar Alto summit finish one of Contador's training climbs
Froome accepted another red jersey after stage 10 and climbed off the podium for a press chat next to one of Spain’s biggest Jamón producers.
He nodded towards the Spaniard and three-time Vuelta winner, who is racing his last race before retirement, to try to claw back time in the overall classification tomorrow.
“I don’t know tomorrow’s climb at all, I’ll have ask Alberto Contador about it,” Froome said. “I think it’s his training ground around there, so he knows the area really well.
“I imagine that with the finish being a high-mountaintop finish we’ll see a very aggressive race towards the final. Certainly guys like Alberto will want to try to make up time on some of their rivals tomorrow. I imagine Alberto will be very aggressive tomorrow and trying to gain back time that he lost early in the race.”
Contador suffered in the early days of the Vuelta, but found his kick again towards the end of the first week. It gives hope for those fans hoping to see Contador end his farewell tour on a high.
The 11th stage climbs the 13.2-kilometre Alto de Velefique at 1800 metres. The final 15.5-kilometre Calar Alto climb rises to 2120 metres to a finish by an observatory.
“There’s a big possibility of rain for the final tomorrow again. Today it played a big part because of the final descent was a little wet, making it a little more dangerous and slippery,” Froome said.
“I wasn’t prepared to take any risks today and just happy to go down easily with my team-mates. The tactic was to play it safe and protect our position and protect the position we are in. We are in the good position and we didn’t want to jeopardise that.
“Tomorrow is definitely a much harder finish uphill finish and we could see a lot more aggressive final and more changes in the classification, for sure.”
Froome leads the overall from Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) and Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing), who are tied for second place at 36 seconds back.