Final flourish from Sagan
Chavanel extends his lead on general classification
Last Updated: 26/08/11 7:12pm
Sagan: Took the stage victory after an powerful late display from Liquigas
Peter Sagan won the sixth stage of the Vuelta a Espana following a show of strength from his Liquigas-Cannondale team.
The pivotal moment in the 196.8 kilometres stage from Ubeda came on the final descent into Cordoba where four Liquigas riders split the peloton as they powered off the front along with Pablo Lastras (Movistar).
That quintet left the main pack trailing and team leader Vincenzo Nibali looked poised to challenge for the overall lead by taking the bonus seconds for winning the stage.
Lastras, winner of the third stage, had other ideas though and it was only some quick thinking from Sagan that prevented him from taking the stage despite being completely outnumbered.
The 21-year-old Slovakian swooped past in the closing metres to claim the victory from Lastras, with Valerio Agnoli in third, Nibali fourth and Eros Capecchi fifth.
"It was a wonderful job by Liquigas-Cannondale on that final descent," said Sagan. "It wasn't very tactical, we just went for it as much as we could."
He admitted: "It would have been even better if Vincenzo had crossed the line first but the most important thing was that one of us won the stage."
Overall leader Sylvain Chavanel (Quick-Step) was tenth on the stage, 17 seconds back, and extended his GC advantage to 15 seconds from Daniel Moreno (Katusha), with Nibali up to third a further second adrift.
Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins again finished close-up along with team-mate Chris Froome, the British pair taking 24th and 34th respectively on the stage in the group which came home 23 seconds back.
The duo are 22nd and 21st respectively in the overall standings, 1:26 behind.