• Aru pulled out a superb time trial performance to stay within sniffing distance of a Vuelta victory. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Fabio Aru is in prime position to upset Tom Dumoulin's dream Vuelta a Espana after pulling out a superb TT performance to stay within three seconds of the race lead - but what about Rodriguez?

Astana's Aru finished the Stage 17 time trial in Burgos in tenth place, 1min 53sec behind Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin). His performance sets the stage for a fascinating final three stages in terrain that arguably suits Aru and Astana more than the race leader.

Aru was happy with his performance against the clock.

"“If I had got the lead back, I’d be even happier,” Aru told press after the stage. “But in any case, finishing and seeing that I was in second [overall] feels like a good time trial.

"Three seconds down [overall] is not bad at all.”

Aru was cagey on tactics over the next few days, however, pointing out that it's not just the race for the lead that he needs to think about.

"There’s also going to be a battle for the podium," he said, "It’s going to be like it was in the last few days, or maybe even harder.”

Dumoulin TTs back into Vuelta lead by just three seconds
Tom Dumoulin used his time trial prowess to win the 17th stage of the Vuelta a España and take a three-second lead over Fabio Aru to set up a battle royale in the final four stages.

Rodriguez loses time, vows to battle on
Former race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) lost time and position after a solid but unspectacular performance. Now 1min 15sec behind Dumoulin, he will probably need to pull out at least one surprise attack over the next three stages to reclaim the red jersey.

"I thought I would see a good time but in the end I lost two positions in the GC," he said. "I am still on the overall podium and not so far from position one and we still have three days ahead of us. I have nothing to lose. I will go on, with all my forces, trying to win this Vuelta a España.

"It does not stop here!"

Friday's stage into Avila, with its steep cobbled finale, could prove to be an ideal spot for a classic Rodriguez ambush.

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