Vuelta a Espana 2017: Tomasz Marczynski wins stage 12 as Chris Froome loses time after crash

Team Sky limit their losses after red jersey crashes on final descent

Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto-Soudal) bagged his second stage win of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana on stage 12, soloing to victory from the breakaway on a day which saw Chris Froome’s lead cut after a crash.

Marczynski accelerated on the final climb, leading the way over the summit and opening his advantage on the descent to add to his win on stage six.

Froome, meanwhile, twice hit the deck on the final descent, and ultimately ceded 20 seconds to the peloton – his team-mates having worked well to limit the damage overall.

Tomasz Marczynski won stage 12 of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana (Pic: Sirotti)

In what has become a common trend for this year’s race, the stage was characterised by a rapid start before a large breakaway went clear after an hour’s racing.

The group that did go clear was 14 strong, with Marczynski joined by, among others, Giro d’Italia stage winner Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) and Aqua Blue Sport’s Peter Koning – the latter fighting for a success on the day their team bus was hit by an arson attack.

Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac) and Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) were all in the breakaway too and played big roles in what was to come.

Initially, however, the pace was sedate and the breakaway opened up a big lead over the peloton – holding a nine-minute lead as they reached the Puerto del Torcal.

Canty lit it up on the climb, but his move was tracked before Marczynski hit the front and built up a lead on the descent.

When Canty crashed on the descent, Marczynski’s advantage grew until it became clear he would be celebrating stage win number two, to add to his stage six success.

The drama was just beginning in the peloton, however, as first Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) attacked – briefly joined by Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing) before he went clear on his own.

Then more drama followed as the bunch – reduced to 20 riders already – lost the red jersey when Froome crashed twice on the descent.

The first crash resulted in a forced bike change, before he crashed again just moments later as Wout Poels and Mikel Nieve dropped back to pace their leader back to the peloton.

Chris Froome still leads overall, but his advantage is back down to less than a minute after a crash (Pic: Sirotti)

Discussions followed in the GC group, but with Contador on the march – and now linked up with team-mate Theuns – there was no time for them to wait for the race leader.

Astana in particular pushed on, despite the hesitation, but Team Sky did superbly to limit the damage – riding in sight of the front group as the line approached.

Contador held a minute’s advantage at its peak, meanwhile, but faded in the final kilometres when he had to go it alone, ultimately finishing 22 seconds clear of GC group.

Froome lost 20 seconds, but remains the race leader with just less than a minute’s lead over Vincenzo Nibali.

Vuelta a Espana 2017: stage 12 – result

1) Tomasz Marczynski (POL) – Lotto-Soudal – 3.56.45hrs
2) Omar Fraile (ESP) – Dimension Data +52”
3) Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP) – Movistar – ST
4) Pawel Poljanski (POL) – Bora-hansgrohe
5) Stef Clement (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo
6) Brendan Canty (AUS) – Cannondale-Drapac +1.42
7) Anthony Perez (FRA) – Cofidis +2.50
8) Jan Polanc (SVN) – UAE Team Emirates – ST
9) Andreas Schillinger (GER) -Bora-hansgrohe
10) David Arroyo (ESP) – Caja Rural-Seguros +3.00

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 49.22.53hrs
2) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida +59”
3) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-Scott +2.13
4) David de la Cruz (ESP) – QuickStep Floors +2.16
5) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Team Sunweb +2.17
6) Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) – Katusha-Alpecin +2.18
7) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +2.37
8) Michael Woods (CAN) – Cannondale-Drapac +2.41
9) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Trek-Segafredo +3.13
10) Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) – Astana +3.51

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