(Reuters) – Primoz Roglic tightened his grip on the general lead of the Vuelta a Espana as he claimed some valuable seconds when ending runner-up on stage 16 on Friday.
The Slovenian had no reply to Denmark’s Magnus Cort Nielsen who claimed victory with a well-timed burst on the finish of the 162km trip from Salamanca to Cuidad Rodrigo.
However the Jumbo Visma rider claimed six seconds to stretch his benefit to 45 seconds over Ineos Grenadiers’ Richard Carapaz.
Britain’s Hugh Carthy (EF Professional Biking) is third general at 53 seconds.
Roglic now must protect his lead in Saturday’s 178km mountain stage to be virtually certain of claiming victory in Madrid.
There was heartbreak for France’s Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Fast Step) who seemed like he may solo his technique to victory after spending all day within the breakaway.
However he was caught inside the ultimate 3km because the peloton wound up the tempo to arrange a battle that Nielsen edged.
Veteran Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) led out the dash however all-rounder Cort Nielsen powered dwelling to proceed what has been a powerful Vuelta for the American EF Professional Biking group.
Roglic let loose a roar of frustration as he crossed the road however strengthened his grip on a race he has led since changing Carapaz by profitable stage 10.
The Tour de France runner-up will probably be taking nothing as a right, nonetheless, with 5 categorised climbs to endure on the street to Alto de La Covatilla on Saturday, together with a 10km slog at a mean of seven% to the summit end.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Modifying by Christian Radnedge)