Vuelta: Hansen wins stage 19 as Contador closes in on title

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Vuelta: Hansen wins stage 19 as Contador closes in on title

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Australian Adam Hansen marked his tenth consecutive appearance in a Grand Tour by winning stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana.

The day’s 180.5 kilometre trek to Cangas de Morrazo saw a number of breaks throughout.

But Chris Froome’s Sky team made sure there were no attacks from the general classification contenders.

Alexey Lutsensko of the Astana team punched his way clear at the top of the final climb of the day with 15 kilometres left.

But he too was caught soon after, although the fast descent saw Sky’s Dario Cataldo come a cropper before getting painfully back in the saddle to complete the stage.

With 5km to go, Hansen of the Lotto-Belisol team made his move and was able to keep an advantage of 12 seconds into the final kilometre.

The peloton picked up the pace in an last chance effort to reel him in, but it was in vain as Hansen crossed over the line five seconds clear of the chasing pack.

German sprint maestro John Degenkolb – who has won four stages this edition – had to settle for second with Italian Filippo Pozzato third.

Spain’s two time winner Alberto Contador remains top of the general standings one minute and 19 seconds clear of Froome with two stages left.