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Poland’s Tomasz Marczynski claimed victory on Stage 12 of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana on Thursday, while Chris Froome suffered a difficult day in his quest to win the Spanish tour.
Froome crashed twice near the end of the stage and was forced to swap his bike after a heavy fall.
Alberto Contador cut into the British star’s overall lead with a solo breakaway, benefitting from Froome’s bad luck, late in the day.
Here is the Stage 12 result:
1 Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal 3:56:45
2 Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Dimension Data 0:00:52
3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
4 Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
6 Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:42
7 Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:02:50
8 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:50
9 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:50
10 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:03:00
11 Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport 0:05:03
Per Le Gruppetto, here is the latest general classification:
La Flamme Rouge @laflammerouge16
#LV2017 – New GC Top 10 https://t.co/uYxYpoBpVG
Froome lost 19 seconds after coming off his bike, but he retains the overall lead by 59 seconds over Vincenzo Nibali.
CyclingNews.com provided details of the stage, with the field intent on a gentle pace after Wednesday’s climbing:
Vuelta a Espana 2017: Stage 12 preview
Motril to Antequera. Los Dólmenes, 160.1km
A slow roll out for the peloton saw 14 riders make the first break of the day after 60 kilometres, but Froome and Team Sky remained disinterested as they once again rode to specific tactics.
The leaders quickly earned an eight-minute advantage over the red jersey pack as the race crossed over Puerto del Leon.
Diego Rosa led Team Sky through the opening gradients, with Froome comfortable and determined to ease into the race. Romain Bardet drove the peloton forward after his strong performance on Stage 11, with the Frenchman desperate to maintain his charge.
JOSE JORDAN/Getty Images
The Category 2 climb at Puerto del Torcal exposed the fatigue in the field, shattering the leaders’ early push. In his final Grand Tour, legendary racer Contador made a break from the peloton, turning on the style as others fell by the wayside.
Marczynski grabbed the lead and drove forward on his own with 21 kilometres remaining, but the red jersey pack remained cool as Contador raced on his own against the clock.
There was a shock with 6.5 kilometres remaining when Froome crashed. The Brit hitting the tarmac hard as his bike slipped out from under him on the descent.
Eurosport UK shared footage of the crash:
Eurosport UK @Eurosport_UK
A hectic couple of minutes for Chris Froome who suffers a mechanical and then crashes as soon as he gets his new bike 😮 https://t.co/00muocyQ0W
The GC leader had a technical issue, forcing him to swap bikes, and he immediately came off as he took a corner. Froome began a hectic dash to make up the time, aware that Contador’s break could cut into his GC lead.
The Tour de France holder was forced to claim the impetus and increase his pace to an uncomfortable level. Astana led the the GC contenders away from the remaining peloton.
Team Sky worked hard to bring Froome back to the main pack, and the rider finally reached the end of the peloton in the final straight.
Marczynski grabbed his second stage victory of the current Vuelta, but the misery was written across Froome’s face after a painful chase at the end.