Vuelta a Espana: Marczynski wins stage 6 in Sagunto

Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) claimed the biggest win of his career with victory on stage 6 of the Vuelta a España. Marczynski had been part of the day's original breakaway and was one of three riders that moved clear in the finale. The Polish rider outsprinted compatriot Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) to take the win.

"Phenomenal, it's an incredible feeling. I came here really wanting to win a stage. I didn't think it would happen so soon," Marczynski said in nearly perfect Spanish.

"From the start there were a thousand attacks. It was very hard. The breakaway was very big, more than 30 riders. Then as we started to climb, people were getting dropped. The last ascent, we climbed really fast. We got to the final with two and then a few others came into town.

"Then we were all looking at each other, but I said, 'I'm not going to let any attack go without me. If I don't have enough strength in the final, so be it, but I'm going to give it my all. Since I've been in the break all day, I have to take advantage of this opportunity.'

"It all worked out in the end."

The main group of favourites finished together 26 seconds behind the winning group, with Chris Froome (Team Sky) keeping hold of his red jersey. The big loser of the day was Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) after he crashed twice in the final 40 kilometres.

It had widely been predicted as a day for the escapees, but it didn't always look like they would succeed with the general classification contenders bearing down on them in the final kilometres. As the gap dwindled, Marczynski jumped out of the breakaway group – which had initially consisted of 27 riders – with Mas on the final ascent of the day. They were pursued and caught by Poljanski, Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), but five became three when Sanchez and Pedrero decided that they were likely to get caught by the favourites behind.

Marczynski and his companions chose to give themselves the benefit of the doubt and pushed on regardless. Sanchez would regret his decision and tried to chase back on with Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) with just over four kilometres to go, but the trio had enough of a margin to fight out victory between themselves.

In the general classification fight, Alberto Contador's resurgence continued and he tried to put his rivals under pressure. His dig on the final climb dropped a large number of riders but it would eventually come back together on the descent with most of the GC contenders crossing the line together. Despite the two crashes, van Garderen only lost 17 seconds, dropping him to fourth, with Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) now second at 11 seconds to Froome.

How it unfolded

After the breakaway succeeded on stage 5, the peloton saw the opportunity again to make an early move stick. While Wednesday saw some 17 riders make it clear of the bunch, Thursday's stage 6 to Sagunt surpassed that. The pace in the opening kilometres matched the weather, hot in every sense, with repeated attacks flying off the front. After more than 30 kilometres of racing, a breakaway began to form, first with 20 riders but that ballooned to 37 before settling at 27.

As had happened on stage 5, Team Sky was reluctant to give such a large move too much space, particularly with Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) among the 27 up the road. With the Spaniard just over six minutes down in the overall classification, he was never going to be given much rope. There was little surprise that Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac) was part of the attack. He has been taking his role as leader of the mountains classification very seriously and was intent on taking a few more points for his tally.

He mopped up the points on the opening two climbs, but Darwin Atapuma (UAE Team Emirates) was not going to make it easy for the Italian. He beat Villella to the top on the third climb of the day the Alto de Chirivilla. As Team Sky kept the gap to a tad over two minutes, escapees Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) and Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal) surged clear on the descent of the Chirivilla. The duo worked well together and extended their lead to a minute when they reached the flat, but they would not enjoy the same fortune as Alexey Lutsenko had the day before. They were eventually reeled back in with 65 kilometres remaining and soon found themselves off the back as the pace ramped up on the next ascent of the day, the Puerto del Oronet.

Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo) was the rider behind the increase in speed and his efforts got rid of quite a few of the original move, including Villella. It looked like Pantano was interested in the points at the top, but Atapuma had the legs and outsprinted him over the KOM line.

The final climb of the day the Puerto del Garbi loomed into view with just under 50 kilometres to the finish. It only earned second category status but with ramps of over 22 per cent it would be no easy prospect. In the escape group it was Lotto Soudal and Quick-Step Floors on the attack again but this time with Tomasz Marczynski and Enric Mas. The pair jumped clear of their companions with two kilometres to the top of the climb. The peloton was now just two minutes behind at this point and closing.

The general classification fight

It would be in the peloton, or what was left of it, where the most interesting action would take place. Perhaps taking notes from Team Sky the day before, Trek-Segafredo stormed into the Puerto del Garbi at high speed, with Peter Stetina riding on the front. He quickly made way for his team leader Contador, who appeared in much better shape after suffering with stomach problems in the opening days of the race. Contador took up the challenge with gusto, forcing a huge split in the group of favourites with several riders, including Nibali and Chaves, initially losing touch. Froome kept in contact, but only with the help of Wout Poels.

From the original breakaway, Pantano dropped back and began setting a pace for Contador, who had Froome, Tejay van Garderen, Carlos Betancur and Jan Polanc with him. As the group made their way down the technical descent, Van Garderen came down hard as he appeared to either touch wheels or hit something on the road. Betancur was left with nowhere to go and came down with him. The pair joined Jasper Hansen (Astana) and Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale), who had been part of the original breakaway and had just crashed in the same place. The prognosis didn't appear good for any of the quartet.

The group of favourites came back together on the descent, minus Van Garderen, who was back up but now over a minute behind, and David de la Cruz. The leaders, now with Sanchez, Poljanski and Pedrero in tow, pushed on but their advantage was brought down to less than 20 seconds on the flat. Sanchez and Pedrero decided that the effort wasn't worth it and dropped back to the Froome group.

Sanchez would regret his decision to leave the escape group when, with four kilometres to go, it appeared that they would actually make the move stick. He followed an attack from Polanc, as the gap hovered at around 30 seconds. It would prove just too little too late for the pair.

Meanwhile, Van Garderen almost had the Froome group in his sights when he hit the deck again going around a roundabout. He was on his way quickly enough, but it was another battering for the American in a tough day of racing.
The three up front would go on to contest the victory with Marczynski taking the honours, while Sanchez and Polanc came across the line eight seconds later and the group of favourites a few more seconds after that.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal4:47:02
2Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 1 - Cell 2
3Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step FloorsRow 2 - Cell 2
4Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:08
5Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 4 - Cell 2
6Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb0:00:26
7Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 6 - Cell 2
8Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 7 - Cell 2
9Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 9 - Cell 2
11Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 12 - Cell 2
14Wout Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 13 - Cell 2
15Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-ScottRow 14 - Cell 2
16Ricardo Vilela (Por) Manzana PostobonRow 15 - Cell 2
17Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 16 - Cell 2
18Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team SunwebRow 17 - Cell 2
19Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 18 - Cell 2
20Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 19 - Cell 2
21Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-DrapacRow 20 - Cell 2
22Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 21 - Cell 2
23Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 22 - Cell 2
24Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:30
25David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:00:43
26Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team EmiratesRow 25 - Cell 2
27Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 26 - Cell 2
28Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 27 - Cell 2
29Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team SunwebRow 28 - Cell 2
30Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 29 - Cell 2
31Toms Skujins (Lat) Cannondale-DrapacRow 30 - Cell 2
32Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Diego Rosa (Ita) Team SkyRow 32 - Cell 2
34Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 33 - Cell 2
35Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team SkyRow 34 - Cell 2
36Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team SkyRow 35 - Cell 2
37Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension DataRow 36 - Cell 2
38Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 37 - Cell 2
39Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 38 - Cell 2
40Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:00:46
41Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 40 - Cell 2
42David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 41 - Cell 2
43Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 42 - Cell 2
44Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:00:48
46Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo0:00:52
47Daan Olivier (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:04:49
48Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:11
49Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ0:06:52
50Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana PostobonRow 49 - Cell 2
51Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) FDJRow 50 - Cell 2
52Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 51 - Cell 2
53Luis Angel Maté Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 52 - Cell 2
54Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 53 - Cell 2
55Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 54 - Cell 2
56Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 55 - Cell 2
57Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 56 - Cell 2
58Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 58 - Cell 2
60Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 59 - Cell 2
61Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 60 - Cell 2
62Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 61 - Cell 2
63Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:10:36
64Fernando Orjuela (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 63 - Cell 2
65Fabricio Ferrari (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 64 - Cell 2
66Bernardo Suaza (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 65 - Cell 2
67Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 66 - Cell 2
68Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
69Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 68 - Cell 2
70Floris De Tier (Bel) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 69 - Cell 2
71Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) Dimension DataRow 70 - Cell 2
72Aldemar Reyes (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 71 - Cell 2
73Matej Mohoric (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 72 - Cell 2
74Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJRow 73 - Cell 2
75Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-DrapacRow 74 - Cell 2
76Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step FloorsRow 75 - Cell 2
77Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 76 - Cell 2
78Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Orica-ScottRow 78 - Cell 2
80Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha-AlpecinRow 79 - Cell 2
81Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:12:31
82Chad Haga (USA) Team SunwebRow 81 - Cell 2
83Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 82 - Cell 2
84Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 83 - Cell 2
85Juan José Lobato (Spa) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 84 - Cell 2
86Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) UAE Team EmiratesRow 85 - Cell 2
87Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 86 - Cell 2
88Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 88 - Cell 2
90Stefan Denifl (Aut) Aqua Blue SportRow 89 - Cell 2
91Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 90 - Cell 2
92Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 91 - Cell 2
93Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La MondialeRow 92 - Cell 2
94Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 93 - Cell 2
95Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-SegafredoRow 95 - Cell 2
97Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 96 - Cell 2
98Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 98 - Cell 2
100Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 99 - Cell 2
101Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 100 - Cell 2
102Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 102 - Cell 2
104Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 103 - Cell 2
105Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 104 - Cell 2
106Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 105 - Cell 2
107Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue SportRow 106 - Cell 2
108Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-SegafredoRow 107 - Cell 2
109Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 108 - Cell 2
110Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
111Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 110 - Cell 2
112Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team SunwebRow 111 - Cell 2
113Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team SunwebRow 112 - Cell 2
114Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJRow 113 - Cell 2
115Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 114 - Cell 2
116Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 115 - Cell 2
117Hernán Aguirre (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 116 - Cell 2
118Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-ScottRow 117 - Cell 2
119Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 118 - Cell 2
120Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 119 - Cell 2
121Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 120 - Cell 2
122Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 121 - Cell 2
123David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team SkyRow 122 - Cell 2
124Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
125Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Movistar TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
126William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac0:15:03
127Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 126 - Cell 2
128Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 127 - Cell 2
129Magnus Cort (Den) Orica-ScottRow 128 - Cell 2
130Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJRow 129 - Cell 2
131Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 130 - Cell 2
132Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 131 - Cell 2
133Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 132 - Cell 2
134Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue SportRow 133 - Cell 2
135Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 134 - Cell 2
136Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 135 - Cell 2
137Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 136 - Cell 2
138Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 137 - Cell 2
139Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension DataRow 138 - Cell 2
140Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:15:07
141Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 140 - Cell 2
142Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 141 - Cell 2
143Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:17:40
144Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 143 - Cell 2
145Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 144 - Cell 2
146Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team SunwebRow 145 - Cell 2
147Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJRow 146 - Cell 2
148Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue SportRow 147 - Cell 2
149Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 148 - Cell 2
150Christian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 149 - Cell 2
151Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors0:23:11
152Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 151 - Cell 2
153Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 152 - Cell 2
154Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue SportRow 153 - Cell 2
155Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 154 - Cell 2
156Conor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue SportRow 155 - Cell 2
157Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJRow 156 - Cell 2
158Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 157 - Cell 2
159Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 158 - Cell 2
160Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-AlpecinRow 159 - Cell 2
161Michael Mørkøv (Den) Katusha-AlpecinRow 160 - Cell 2
162Adam Blythe (GBr) Aqua Blue SportRow 161 - Cell 2
163Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 162 - Cell 2
164Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 163 - Cell 2
165Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue SportRow 164 - Cell 2
166Juan Felipe Osorio (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 165 - Cell 2
167Hernando Bohórquez (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 166 - Cell 2
168George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 167 - Cell 2
169Thomas Scully (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 168 - Cell 2
170Sebastián Molano (Col) Manzana PostobonRow 169 - Cell 2
171Hector Sáez Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 170 - Cell 2
172Rafael Reis (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 171 - Cell 2
173Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 172 - Cell 2
174Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 173 - Cell 2
175Federico Zurlo (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 174 - Cell 2
176Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 175 - Cell 2
177Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 176 - Cell 2
178Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-ScottRow 177 - Cell 2
179Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-ScottRow 178 - Cell 2
180Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 179 - Cell 2
181Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 180 - Cell 2
182Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 181 - Cell 2
183Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:23:47
184Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Dimension DataRow 183 - Cell 2
185Rein Taaramäe (Est) Katusha-AlpecinRow 184 - Cell 2
186Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue SportRow 185 - Cell 2
187Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 186 - Cell 2
188Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJRow 187 - Cell 2
189Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 188 - Cell 2
DNFNicholas Dougall (RSA) Dimension DataRow 189 - Cell 2
DNFJosé Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 190 - Cell 2
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Points Classification - Sagunt - 197km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe4pts
2Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors1Row 2 - Cell 3
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