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Froome retains Vuelta red jersey

04 September 2017

Froome finished fifth, 47 seconds back, but with the same time as title rival Esteban Chaves and six seconds ahead of 2010 Vuelta victor Vincenzo Nibali, who now trails the Team Sky rider by one minute and one second ahead of Monday's final rest day.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez was 27 seconds back in second with Nibali snatching third from Froome as they both finished 31 seconds behind Majka. Lopez then set off on his own to pass breakaway rider Adam Yates and power his way to the summit finish at Alto Hoya de la Mora.

Majka said he relished the win after dropping out of overall contention in earlier stages when he felt ill.

An exhausted Yates, who is yet to win a stage at a Grand Tour, was caught in the final 4km, nearly coming to a halt as Lopez raced past him.

Froome continues to lead the race by 1-01 over Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

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The peloton may regret its inability to apply more pressure on Froome when he showed signs of wavering, but all credit will go to Majka following one of the gutsiest performances witnessed so far in the 2017 Vuelta a Espana. The Italian now trails Froome by 55 seconds.

"I want to enjoy myself, just like I've been enjoying myself up to now", he continued. "But we made a decision to go for it", Trentin told reporters after edging out 14 other riders in the uphill sprint finish to cross the line first in Tomares. "It didn't work out today but I am sure it will in the future". Rui Costa is a former world champion and a multiple Tour de France stage victor; Rafal Majka has also won three stages on the Tour, plus the polka dot jersey, and his climbing abilities need no introduction. "We have seen everything at this Vuelta. crashes, attacks".

Russia's Ilnur Zakarin was second behind Lopez, 36 seconds off the pace, with Wilco Kelderman third.

"I knew that at 10k I need to go at full gas like a time trial", said Majka.

The final week of the race will stay in the north before its finish in Madrid on September 10.

Froome retains Vuelta red jersey