Corunna - German sprint specialist John Degenkolb has won his fourth stage of this
year's Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday when he took the 17th, a 190.7
kilometres ride from Ortigeira to La Coruna.
victory -- which sees him move to within one of the total he won on the
2012 edition -- didn't affect the overall standings as two-time champion
Alberto Contador will again don the red jersey for Thursday's 18th
Degenkolb, who was second in the Paris-Roubaix one day
classic this year, beat home Australia's former red jersey wearer
Michael Matthews while Swiss star Fabian Cancellara was third.
18th stage is a 157km ride from d'A Estrada to Monte Castrove en Meis,
which is a second category climb reached after a 10km ascent.
Contador highlighted this stage as the one he feared the most in terms of his rivals for the title attacking him.
31-year-old presently leads compatriot Alejandro Valverde by 1min 36sec
with Britain's 2013 Tour de France champion Chris Froome a further
three seconds in arrears.
The race finishes with a 9.7km time-trial in Santiago de Compostella on Sunday.
rider who won't be contesting the remainder of the race is Colombia's
Tour of Italy runner-up Rigoberto Uran, who made it a disastrous Tour
for his country as he joined joined compatriot and Tour of Italy
champion Nairo Quintana in retiring from the race.
"I have decided
to bid farewell to the Vuelta (Tour of Spain).
"Thanks to my team and
for all their work," said the 27-year-old, who had dropped out of the
top 10 after a series of disappointing performances in the mountains
where he normally flourishes.
Tour of Spain results after the 17th stage, a 190.7 kilometres ride from Ortigueira to La Coruna on Wednesday:
1. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA) 4hr 26min 07sec, 2. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) same time, 3. Fabian Cancellara (SWI/TRE) s.t., 4. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TRE) s.t., 5. Roberto Ferrari (ITA/LAM) s.t., 6. Koldo Fernandez (ESP/GRM) s.t., 7. Geoffrey Soupe (FRA/FDJ) s.t., 8. Danilo Wyss (SWI/BMC) s.t., 9. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN) s.t., 10. Vicente Reynes (ESP/IAM) s.t.
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) 67hr 51min 07sec, 2. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) at 1min 36sec, 3. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 1:39, 4. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 2:29, 5. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 3:38, 6. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) 6:17, 7. Robert Gesink (NED/BKN) 6:43, 8. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/BMC) 6:55, 9. Warren Barguil (FRA/GIA) 8:37, 10. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN) 9:10.