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Watch: Marczynski wins the sprint; Van Garderen loses time

Joe Robinson
25 Aug 2017

Vuelta a Espana 2017 video highlights: The best of the action from Stage 6

Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto-Soudal) took the biggest victory of his career beating Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) and Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe) in a three-up sprint into Sagunt on Stage 6 of 207 the Vuelta a Espana.

In the race for red, Chris Froome (Team Sky) managed to extend his lead slightly, with Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) taking second on General Classification. Tejey Van Garderen (BMC Racing) dropped from second to fourth after two crashes in an impressive display of damage limitation. 

The day started off with the biggest breakaway of the race so far. 35 riders managed to escape the peloton with only Team Sky and Orica-Scott not being represented. 

The gap between the peloton and break ebbed and flowed all day, with Team Sky making sure they did not get out of sight. With this, attacks within the break came relatively early, with various riders making bids for glory. 

Back in the bunch, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) made the most of his local knowledge, attacking on the last climb  of Puerto del Garbi. This caused fractures within the peloton, with only Froome, Chaves and Van Garderen initially following. 

With this injection of pace, Tejay Van Garderen crash, taking down Carlos Betancur (Movistar) who subsequently abandoned the race due to sustaining a fractured ankle. 

In the race for the stage, Marczynski, Mas and Poljanski had managed to build a suitable gap. With the impetuous of the chasers waning, the leading three managed to stick it out for the victory. 

Pole Marczynski managed to out-sprint compatriot Poljanski and the young Mas to take a maiden Grand Tour stage victory. 

Meanwhile, back in the bunch, Froome and Contador has been caught by their fellow GC rivals, finishing all at the same time. Van Garderen, despite his crashes, had managed to chase back on to only finish 20 seconds adrift. 

Tomorrow see the peloton take on the longest stage of this year's race. The 205.2km route takes the riders from Lliria to Cuenca. The closing kilometres will see the riders take on the Alto del Castillo, a rough stone pavement up to a picturesque castle. 

Expect to see another large breakaway tackle this difficult day in the saddle. This could be a day for the puncheurs so expect the likes of Julian Alaphillippe (Quick-Step Floors) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) to be at the fore.  

Watch: Lutsenko goes solo to win; Froome takes time

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) hit out on the final climb of the day to take a maiden Grand Tour victory on Stage 5 of the Vuelta a Espana. Chris Froome (Team Sky) managed to distance some of his General Classification rivals into Alcossebre. 

A 175km course starting in the beach town of Benicassim, the riders took on five categorised climbs, finishing on the steep Ermite Sta. Lucia.

Today as the first day in which we saw a sizeable break, with 16 riders getting up the road. Notable escapees included Julian Alaphillippe (Quick-Step Floors), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) and Marc Soler (Astana). 

The winning move happened early with Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin) kicking out on the Alto de la Serratella 50km from the finish, with only Lutsenko being able to follow the wheel.

As the original break split up, Alaphillippe, Soler and Gougeard led the chase alongside Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data). With the obvious threat of Alaphillippe in the chasing group, cooperation broke down allowing Lutsenko and Haller to take an unassailable lead. 

As they hit the final climb, it was Lutsenko who proved strongest, dropping Haller to take the victory. Of the chasers, Kudus managed to outclimb the best of the rest to finish second. 

Back in the back, Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) earned his salary once again setting an unrelenting pace on the final climb. Froome then attacked off the back of this, taking Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) with him to the line. 

Froome extended his overall lead to ten seconds, with Tejay Van Garderen now sitting in second overall.

Watch: Matteo Trentin sprints to victory on Stage 4 of the Vuelta (video highlights)

Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) managed to outsprint the field to take Stage 4 of the Vuelta a Espana. Chris Froome (Team Sky) finishes safely in the bunch to stay in the red jersey. 

Starting in Escaldes-Engordany, the 198.2km stage saw the riders finish in the coastal town of Tarragona. With only one categorised climb on course, this stage was always earmarked as one for the fast men. 

In a pretty uneventful day, Trentin managed to time his sprint to perfection, overtaking Juan Jose Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo) in the final few hundred metres, taking the stage. 

With this victory, the Italian spriter became the 100th man in history to win individual stages of all three Grand Tours. 

The big winner for the day was Trentin and his Quick-Step Floors side. This is there second stage victory in the opening four days, after Yves Lampaert's solo win in Gruissan. Trentin also finds himself riding into the green points jersey. 

The Belgian WorldTour teams great start to the Vuelta continues their outstanding season. So far, they have taken 12 Grand Tour stages alongside the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold. 

Although a quiet day, there were some losers. The biggest was Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) who, no thanks to a crash, lost 3 minutes 25 all but ending his General Classification hopes.

Rafa Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) also lost more time today, confirming that he also will be out of the running for overall contention.

One rider that may also be dissapointed is Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport). After a promising third on Stage 2, the Brit seemed to get boxed in at the finish today, eventually rolling in 15th. 

Today's stage sees the riders tackle 157.7km from Benicassim to Alcossebre. With five categorised climbs en-route, the stage finishes uphill, with reports of 20% gradients in the finale. 

This punchy finish would again suit Quick-Step Floors, who boast Julian Alaphillippe in their ranks. However, judging by the aggressive nature of their racing so far, do not be surprised if Froome and Team Sky go hunting for more time today.

Watch: Vincenzo Nibali takes a bite from his opponents; Chris Froome goes into red on Stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) managed to out sprint his General Classification rivals in the final few hundred metres to take the stage honours with Chris Froome (Team Sky) riding into the overall lead. 

Stage 3 from marked the first mountain stage of this year's race, with a 158.5km route from Prades Conflent Canigo to Andorra La Vella. 

On the final climb of the day, Froome attacked with only Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) managing to hold the wheel. By the time they had hit the descent Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Fabio Aru (Astana) had managed to chase back on. 

Before the finish the road levelled out, allowing the chasing riders who had been dropped on the final climb to chase back to the leaders. This included eventual winner Nibali amongst others. 

As the leading group hit the final 400m, the shark of Messina attacked, darting down the left side of the bunch, establishing a big enough to take him through to the finish. David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) managed to sprint to second with Froome coming home third. 

This shake up on GC saw Froome ride into the race lead, taking the red jersey by one second over De La Cruz. With the bonus seconds on the line, Nibali managed to ride himself up to fifth overall, only ten seconds adrift of the race lead. 

The big winners of the day were arguably Froome, Nibali and De La Cruz. Nibali's stage victory would have done masses for his confidence whilst Froome and De La Cruz have taken first and second on GC. 

Another rider who will be happy with his performance will be Chaves. Looking comfortable in the wheel of Froome after his attack, Chaves showed signs of returning to his swashbuckling best after a difficult season.

The big losers on the day were Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Rafa Majka (Bora-Hangrohe) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin). Contador and Majka can wave goodbye to any overall aspirations after losing 2 minutes 33 and 2 minutes 35 respectively. 

Today's stage sees the riders one of the few stages with opportunity for the sprinters. Starting in Escaldes-Engordany, the stage will finish in Tarragona with a flat run to the finish. 

After a tough day yesterday, this could well be a day for the breakaway. If the bunch does catch the break, then this will see a bunch sprint to the finish.

Watch: Yves Lampaert and Quick-Step Floors present a masterclass in the crosswinds on Stage 2

Stage 2 saw Quick-Step Floors rider Yves Lampaert solo to victory taking the red jersey from Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing). Lampaert managed to gap his rivals in the final few kilometres to take his first ever grand tour stage success. 

The 201km route that took the riders from Nimes to Gruissan was a cagey affair, with no breakaway forming for the entire stage. The first hour of the race saw the peloton cover 46.7km. 

As the riders entered the run in to home, Quick-Step Floors managed to bring numbers to the front in anticipation of crosswinds in the finale. With the plan originally to have Matteo Trentin sprint for victory, Lampaert found himself off of the front, maintaining the gap until the finish.

The gap, alongside the ten seconds bonus on the line, were enough for the Belgian to take the race lead, taking the jersey from Dennis, who finished in the main bunch.

This rounded off a superb day for the Belgian WorldTour team who managed a 1-2 on the day, with Trentin sprinting to second. The Italian also sits second on general classification after taking bonus seconds at the day's intermediate sprint.

There was also slight movement between the main players on general classification. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) was today's big winner, finishing in the front group taking eight seconds off of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Fabio Aru (Astana) amongst others.

The big losers of the day were Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) who both rolled in 13 seconds down. This saw them concede another five seconds to race favourite Froome, adding to their losses on day one's team time trial.

Lampaert will be making the most of his day in red as it unlikely he will be in the jersey tomorrow. The Vuelta sees the riders enter the lumpy nation of Andorra today in the first mountain stage of the race.

Coming so early in the race, it is unlikely that there will be a big shake up on GC yet we are almost certainly guaranteed to have a new race leader. With three classified climbs on route and a descent into the finish, expect to see a breakaway fighting out for the victory.