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Vuelta a Espana: Keukeleire wins stage 12 as Quintana and Froome continue battle for title

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Vuelta a Espana: Keukeleire wins stage 12 as Quintana and Froome continue battle for title

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Belgian’s Jens Keukeleire celebrated the biggest victory of his career by winning stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana.

The demanding 193 kilometre stage brought the peloton into the heart of the Basque Country with the finish line in Bilbao.

Three time champion Alberto Contador of Spain gave his rivals a scare in the final 15 kilometres when he danced out of his saddle in a bid to chase down on-form front runner Dries Devenyns of Belgium.

Contador however was quickly reeled in and a counter attack soon materialized.

Devenyns managed to stay out in front until the final five kilometres, at which point more riders had gathered in the group behind.

Soon after they caught their man and a sprint finish was on the cards.

Keukeleire began his sprint from distance and he powered past the rest to cross the line first for his maiden Grand tour victory.

Colombian Nairo Quintana maintained his overall race lead while Britain’s Tour de France champion Chris Froome finished at the same time to remain 54 seconds off his title rival’s pace.

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