Dan Martin remains sixth in Vuelta a Espana

Irishman came home in the pack after four-time stage winner John Degenkolb

German John Degenkolb of Giant-Shimano  celebrates winning the 17th stage of the Vuelta a Espana in A Coruna, Spain. Photograph: Javier Lizon / EPA

German John Degenkolb of Giant-Shimano celebrates winning the 17th stage of the Vuelta a Espana in A Coruna, Spain. Photograph: Javier Lizon / EPA

 

John Degenkolb claimed his fourth stage success of the Vuelta a Espana with victory on the race’s resumption on Wednesday.

Ireland’s Dan Martin finished on the same time in the chasing pack, officially ranked 39th on the day after a frantic finish. He remains sixth overall, six minutes and 17 seconds off leader Alberto Contador of Spain.

Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano), winner of stages four, five and 12, left it late at the end of the 190.7-kilometre 17th stage from Ortigueira to A Coruna to bid for the line. But once again the powerful German had too much speed for his rivals as Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews finished second ahead of third-placed Fabian Cancellara (Trek).

Spaniard Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished safely in the pack in 32nd place to retain an overall lead of one minute 36 seconds over compatriot Alejandro Valverde.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) was 26th and Valverde (Movistar) 27th on the day. Briton Froome is one minute 39 seconds behind Contador and three seconds behind Valverde ahead of Thursday’s challenging 157km route from A Estrada to the summit at Monte Castrove.

Froome lost a loyal team-mate on the race’s resumption following Tuesday’s rest day as German domestique Christian Knees withdrew due to illness.

The race concludes on Sunday.

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