Froome’s lead is cut after he falls twice

Tomasz Marczynski

Tomasz Marczynski claimed his maiden Grand Tour win on stage six

Briton Chris Froome crashed twice and saw his lead cut by 20 seconds in the Vuelta a Espana as Tomasz Marczynski claimed a solo victory on stage 12.

Team Sky rider Froome fell on a downhill section in the last 6km of the 160.1km route from Motril to Antequera.

The incident allowed second-placed Italian Vincenzo Nibali to make up time on Froome, who leads by 59 seconds.

Poland’s Marczynski led with 21.5km to go and won by 52 seconds for his second stage victory in this year’s race.

Froome, 32, who is attempting to be only the third man to win the Tour de France and Vuelta in the same season, suffered a mechanical problem which forced him to change bikes and then crashed again just a few hundred metres later.

The four-time Tour de France winner fought back to finish 20 seconds behind the main group of general classification favourites including Nibali.

“It’s never nice to crash like that, but I’m just grateful that I’m not injured and everything is good to go tomorrow,” Froome told Spanish TV station Teledeporte.

“It’s never nice to lose time, but I have a fantastic team around me. I had two team-mates with me all the way to the end.”

“The Vuelta is not over yet and there are a lot of big days ahead. The race is not over until we reach Madrid. I just need to be at my best every day now.”

Three-time Vuelta champion Alberto Contador, who is retiring from professional cycling at the end of the race, gained 40 seconds on Froome, but the Spaniard is still more than three minutes behind the Briton in ninth.

Friday’s largely flat 13th stage takes the riders 198.4km from Coin to Tomares. The race finishes in Madrid on 10 September.

Stage 12 result

1. Tomasz Marczynski (Pol/Lotto-Soudal) 3hrs 56mins 45secs

2. Omar Fraile (Spa/Team Dimension Data) +52secs

3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa/ Movistar Team) Same time

4. Pawel Poljanski (Pol/BORA-hansgrohe) Same time

5. Stef Clement (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo) Same time

6. Brendan Canty (Aus/Cannondale-Drapac) +1mins 42secs

7. Anthony Perez (Fra/Cofidis, Solutions Credits) +2mins 50secs

8. Jan Polanc (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) Same time

9. Andreas Schillinger (Ger/BORA-hansgrohe) Same time

10. David Arroyo (Spa/Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) +3mins

General classification

1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) 49hrs 22mins 53secs

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +59secs

3. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica-Scott) +2mins 13secs

4. David de la Cruz (Spa/Quick-Step Floors) +2mins 16secs

5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +2mins 17secs

6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus/Katusha-Alpecin) +2mins 18secs

7. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana Pro Team) +2mins 37secs

8. Michael Woods (Can/Cannondale-Drapac) +2mins 41secs

9. Alberto Contador (Spa/Trek-Segafredo) +3mins 13secs

10. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team) +3mins 51secs

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