Martin loses Vuelta stage in last 20m

Tony Martin failed to win stage six of the Vuelta a Espana despite leading on his own for the first 175km.

The 28-year-old German came within 20 metres of victory, but finished seventh after being caught by the chasing pack.

Denmark’s Michael Morkov won the stage between Guijuelo and Caceres, with Maximiliano Richeze in second and Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara third.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, 28, retained the overall race lead for a third straight stage.

Nibali keeps the red leader’s jersey for Friday’s seventh stage, a second consecutive flat ride that stretches 206km from Almendralejo to Mairena del Alijarafe.

Martin said he expected other riders to follow him when he accelerated the pace in the first kilometre.

“I wanted to break away and I was hoping to go with a few other guys but nobody could follow so I just kept going,” he said.

The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider was ultimately disappointed he could not close out an unlikely victory.

“I couldn’t go any faster than I did in the last 200m,” he said.

“When you do something like that it’s always bittersweet. From one end you think you could have won with a bit more luck – on the other hand I felt like a winner.”

Result of stage six

1. Michael Morkov (Denmark/ Team Saxo-Tinkoff) 3:54:15″

2. Maximiliano Richeze (Argentina/ Lampre-Merida)

3. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland/ RadioShack-Leopard)

4. Tyler Farrar (USA/ Garmin-Sharp)

5. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spain/ Vacansoleil-DCM)

6. Michael Matthews (Australia/ Orica-GreenEdge)

7. Tony Martin (Germany/ Omega Pharma-Quick Step)

8. Gianni Meersman (Belgium/ Omega Pharma-Quick Step)

9. Philippe Gilbert (Belgium/ BMC Racing Team)

10. Graeme Brown (Australia/ Belkin Pro Cycling)

Overall standings after six stages


Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) 22:38:07″


Chris Horner (US / RadioShack) +3″


Nicolas Roche (Ireland / Saxo – Tinkoff) +8″


Haimar Zubeldia (Spain / RadioShack) +16″


Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) +21″


Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / RadioShack) +26″


Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky) +28″

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