• Chris Froome of Team Ineos Grenadiers at the Vuelta a Espana (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Chris Froome lost contact with the GC contenders, not once, but twice during the Vuelta's opening stage, in what was his first appearance at the Grand Tour in over two years.
SBS Cycling Central

21 Oct 2020 - 11:48 AM 

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The Ineos Grenadiers rider fell behind both in the climb of the Alto de Elgeta and the finish at Arrate, surrendering over 11 minutes to stage winner Primoz Roglic.

Froome's long-awaited return to three-week racing came after a career-threatening crash during last year's Criterium du Dauphine, and the veteran admitted he was "caught out" for the climb.

"For me personally, I got a bit caught out coming into the penultimate climb and started pretty far back and was stuck behind the crash," Froome said.

"But I’m really happy to be here and to be racing a Grand Tour again after two years of not doing any Grand Tours.

"I’m just going to take the race day-by-day and try and do as much for the team throughout the race.

"My sensations are good but I’m still missing a bit of that top-end from not having raced much but it’s definitely an improvement and I hope to keep building later into the race."

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Though it remains to be seen whether Froome can recapture his past form, the four-time Tour de France winner vowed to help teammate Richard Carapaz in the ensuing stages.

“It was a great day for us with Richard coming second," he added.

"He’s right up there in GC and he’s our team leader here. We’re going to be helping him as much as possible throughout the race to try and get us the overall victory."

Catch Stage 2 of the Vuelta LIVE and FREE on SBS VICELAND and On Demand from 12:05am on Thursday October 22.