Magnificent Majka climbs to Vuelta stage 14 win as Froome protects lead

Froome remains 59 seconds clear despite two separate incidents on stage 12

Froome pulled away from his rivals on the Puig Llorenca climb to win the stage by four seconds, and by adding bonus seconds he led by 36 seconds overall at that point.

Froome, who is bidding to become only the third rider to win La Vuelta and the Tour de France in the same year, crossed the line 31 seconds down on the Polish rider after the 175km stage.

Nibali attacked Froome on the climb, but the four-time Tour de France victor kept him close and then closed the gap with 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) left on the punishing final ascent. The BORA-hansgrohe rider finished the 175-kilometer (108.7-mile) stage from Ecija to Sierra de La Pandera in 4 hours, 42 minutes, 10 seconds.

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But Froome's overall lead was trimmed by four seconds as Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), second overall, pipped him to third place on the day, picking up four bonus seconds on the line.

"So I am really happy, not for me, but for my teammates because they did a really great job", Majka said. "It's incredible. I came in this race with confidence but I never expected something like this".

TOUR DE FRANCE champion Chris Froome waited until he passed through the Costa Blanca to win his first stage of this year's Vuelta de España.

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Of those in the top 16, the only change in GC position was with De la Cruz and Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), with the latter going from fifth to forth and displacing the Spaniard.

"Anything can happen", warned the Spanish (8th in 3 minutes and 19 seconds), at which it remains, "seven days of cycling in the legs" before retiring on the evening of the final stage, the 10 September in Madrid.

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