Pre-race favourite Nairo Quintana was forced to withdraw from the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday after suffering a second crash in as many days.
The Colombian hit the deck hard on Tuesday’s stage 10 but managed to carry on.
However he fell once again 20km into Wednesday’s stage 11 damaging his right shoulder, ending any hopes of winning the third and final Grand Tour of the season.
The show must go on and it did as the peloton continued to make their way over the 153.4km to Navarre.
Team Sky’s title contender Chris Froome looked in trouble within the final ten kilometres as the front of the bunch picked up the pace.
Drawing on all his reserves Froome battled back to draw level with his rivals to help reel in escapee Robert Gesink at which point Astana’s Fabio Aru blasted out of the pack with a kilometre left.
The Italian managed to hold off a bunch of title hopefuls to seal the victory and celebrate his second Grand Tour stage triumph win of the season following a win in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde took second followed by Joaquim Rodríguez, Alberto Contador and Froome.
Contador kept himself at the top of the overall race lead, 20 seconds clear of Valverde.