Dan Martin avoids drama in ‘totally crazy’ finish

German John Degenkolb takes his third stage win after crash late on stage 12

 German cyclist   John Degenkolb celebrates after winning the 12th stage of La Vuelta a Espana. Photograph: Javier Lizon  / EPA

German cyclist John Degenkolb celebrates after winning the 12th stage of La Vuelta a Espana. Photograph: Javier Lizon / EPA

 

German John Degenkolb tightened his grip on the points classification at the Tour of Spain by claiming his third win in the 12th stage on Thursday, while Ireland’s Dan Martin was 20th.

Martin and Philip Deignan both avoided the big crash which occurred in the final two kilometres, staying out of trouble on the streets of Logroño.

Martin was delayed by the fall but stayed upright.

“The stage was pretty boring and then totally crazy,” he told The Irish Times, referring to the controlled pace until the lead-up to the sprint.

He rolled in a solid 20th, being given the same time as Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) after the race judges determined that the delay to riders happened as a result of the crash.

That left him in his same position of 11th overall, three minutes and 59 seconds behind the race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo).

Deignan saved energy before the upcoming mountain stages, where he will try to help Sky team leader Chris Froome improve from his position of fifth overall. He rolled in 166th, and is now 62nd overall.

Green jersey holder Degenkolb beat Belgian Tom Boonen and Italian Jacopo Guarnieri, who were second and third respectively.

Top sprinters Nacer Bouhanni of France and Australian Michael Matthews could not contest the final sprint at the end of the 166.4-km stage as they were held up behind a crash in the finale.

Contador retained the overall leader’s red jersey that he snatched in Tuesday’s individual time trial.

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider leads compatriot Alejandro Valverde and Colombian Rigoberto Uran.

Friday’s hilly 13th stage will take the peloton from Belorado to Obregon.

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