Stage 6 of the Vuelta a España, on paper, looked like a day for the breakaway, and indeed it was Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) who won from the group of escapees. But there was no complacency in the group of overall contenders as Chris Froome (Team Sky) was repeatedly pressured by the attacks from Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo).
The Spaniard, racing in his final Grand Tour before retiring, used the category 3 Puerto del Garbi to whittle down the group of the race leader Froome, isolating him from his Sky teammates. However, a crash in the group from Tejay van Garderen (BMC) left the pair without impetus into the headwind on the 35km drop to the finish and a large group of the main contenders rejoined.
David de la Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) and Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) never rejoined the group with Froome, and lost 17 seconds. The former dropped to seventh, and Van Garderen, who crashed again after making it across to the Froome group, fell to fourth.