John Degenkolb won stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday to notch up his fourth victory of this year’s edition.
The day’s ride took the peloton over 190.7 kilometres from Ortigueira to A Coruña in the north west of the country.
The stage began with the news that former title challenger Rigoberto Uran had withdrawn due to the effects of asthmatic bronchitis.
The show continued though and a five man break animated the day but the remnants of the escape group was swallowed up in the final kilometre at which point the sprinter’s teams prepared their charges for the final dash to the line.
Degenkolb was pushed all the way by Michael Matthews but the German highlighted his status for the world title later this month with a powerful victory.
Australian Matthews was second while Swiss Fabian Cancellara was third.
Spain’s Alberto Contador is a step closer to his third title – he leads compatriot Alejandro Valverde by one minute and 36 seconds with Chris Froome a further three seconds back.