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Vuelta Stage 6: Nacer Bouhanni takes rare Grand Tour stage win for Cofidis

Thibaut Pinot and Wilco Kelderman caught out as pace picked up in crosswinds in closing kilometres

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) won stage six of the Vuelta a Espana following an unexpectedly frenetic finish to an otherwise fairly low-key stage.

For the fourth time in five road stages Luis Angel Maté was in the day’s break. He was joined by Jorge Cubero and, somewhat surprisingly, Richie Porte.

The trio was caught with about 30km to go with the peloton picking up speed as teams sought to exploit crosswinds.

A split in the field following a crash saw Thibaut Pinot lose 1m44s, while fifth-placed Wilco Kelderman suffered an ill-timed mechanical and finished in the same group.

Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) finished in the bunch and retains the race lead.

The sprint finish saw Nacer Bouhanni edge out Danny Van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) with stage three winner Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) in third place.

It was Bouhanni’s sixth win of a turbulent season and Cofidis’s first Grand Tour stage win since Daniel Navarro’s on stage 14 of the 2014 Vuelta a Espana.

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