Rafal Majka eases to win on stage 14 of Vuelta a Espana

Tomasz Marczynski

Tomasz Marczynski

Froome, who is bidding to become only the third rider to win La Vuelta and the Tour de France in the same year, crossed the line 31 seconds down on the Polish rider after the 175km stage.

Vincenzo Nibali is still 59 seconds behind Froome in second place, followed by Esteban Chaves.

The Italian, a revelation this season, tried his best, but Mateo Trentin was too powerful, as he has been three times in this race, and took a fifth stage for Quick-Step.

The Colombian escaped from the group with tour leader Christopher Froome at six kilometers from the finish in the Sierra Nevada.

Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) at 0:27, 3.

Nibali and Lopez broke free of the chasing group close to the finish, but Froome kept them within arm's reach and allowed the former to cut just four seconds off the deficit separating him in second.

Lopez would go on to win stage 15 by more than 30 seconds.

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Race favorite Froome had a mechanical issue with around eight km remaining in the 160.1 km (99 miles) stage from Motril to Antequera Los Dolmones and was forced to change bikes. "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. "We have seen everything at this Vuelta. crashes, attacks".

I can't thank my team-mates enough.

The three-time Vuelta victor, riding in his last race before retirement, launched his attack early with 26.5km remaining in the 129.4km stage 15.

Russia's Ilnur Zakarin moved up to third overall by finishing second behind Lopez, 36 seconds off the pace, with Wilco Kelderman third on the 129.4km ride from Alcala la Real.

"If anyone had said to me this would be the situation going into the second rest day I would have definitely taken that".

We knew Majka was stronger than most of us in this kind of stage finish and his teammates did a great job in supporting him throughout.

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