Roche moves up to fifth spot after strong finish

Nibali still leads as Mollema takes stage 17 of Vuelta

Astana Pro Team rider Vincenzo Nibali. Photograph: Miguel Vidal/Reuters

Nicolas Roche moved up one place to fifth at the Vuelta a Espana after finishing 10th on stage 17 of the race from Calahorra to Burgos.

The Team Saxo Tinkoff rider came home in the leading group on the 189km stage and leapfrogged Domenico Pozzovivo of Italy on general classification.

Race leader Vincenzo Nibali maintained his 28-second advantage over Chris Horner.

Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands won the stage in a time of four hours 44 minutes, breaking away from the group less than 500 metres from the end to edge out Team Sky’s Norwegian rider Edvald Boasson Hagen.


But the Italian race leader was not far behind and prevented Horner gaining any more ground after losing 22 seconds on Monday.

Spanish duo Alejandro Valverde and Joaquin Rodriguez are third and fourth, over a minute and two minutes behind respectively, with Roche remaining 3.43 off the lead.

On Thursday the riders tackle a gruelling mountain stage from Burgos to Pena Cabarga, with the race concluding in Madrid on Sunday.