Benitachell, Spain: Chris Froome took another huge step towards a historic Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double by claiming stage nine of the Vuelta on Sunday to extend his race lead.
Froome attacked with 500M to go on the category-one climb of a 174km stage from Orihuela to Benitachell to win in a time of 4hrs 07mins 13secs from his closest challenger Esteban Chaves with Canadian Michael Woods third.
Colombian Chaves slips 36 seconds behind Froome in the general classification with Ireland's Nicolas Roche 1min 05secs back in third.
But Froome, aiming to become only the third man to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year, is beginning to amass a significant advantage over the rest of his general classification rivals.
Vincenzo Nibali was 14 seconds back on the stage to fall 1min 17secs behind Froome in fourth with Fabio Aru a further 16 seconds back in seventh overall.