Attacks all day long offered an impressive showdown on stage 6 of La Vuelta Thursday on the way to Sagunt. Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) dominated the last survivors of a 37 man breakaway to snatch the win just ahead of a group of favourites set on fire by Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo). The triple winner of La Vuelta attacked in the last climb of the day with more than 40km to go and made sure most of his rivals suffer. Only Chris Froome (Team Sky) managed to match his pace but others came back later on. Froome will wear the red jersey for the fifth time on stage 7, one more day than Bradley Wiggins.
Stage 6 of La Vuelta 2017 kicked-off from Vila-Real with a 191 rider peloton willing to battle it out over more than 200km. It took 50km of hard racing to see the break of the day establish itself with 37 riders. Among them: stage 5 winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), his teammate Luis Leon Sanchez (the main threat for Chris Froome, with a delay of 3’24” on GC), KOM leader Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac) and Green jersey Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) with his teammates Bob Jungels and Enric Mas.
The number of riders at the front steadily reduced through the first climbs of the day while Villella enjoyed the opportunities to snatch 8 more KOM points. Jungels jumped ahead with Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal) in the downhill from the alto de Chirivilla, 100km into the stage, without opening a meaningful gap. Their lead over the rest of the attackers went up to 50” while Team Sky controlled the gap under 3′ in the peloton.
The race blew up in the final climb of the day, the cat-2 puerto del Garbi where Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) decided to go on the move with more than 40km to go. With Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) crashing, only Chris Froome (Team Sky) managed to follow Contador all the way up. But Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Fabio Aru (Astana) made the most of the downhill to come back with 25km to go.
With a lead down under one minute, Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal), Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) still managed to hold off their chasers all the way to the finish. Van Garderen sustained another crash with 3km to go and eventually dropped 17”.