Roglic back in red after Vuelta summit scramble

Cullera (Spain) (AFP) –


Defending champion Primoz Roglic retook the Vuelta a Espana overall lead on Thursday when he led the main contenders up a steep incline finish, just failing however to catch early escaper Magnus Cort Nielsen, who won stage six.

The finals ascent at Cullera was an imposing 1.9km climb at 9.4 percent gradient and delivered a confrontation between the overall contenders.

EF's Cort Nielsen clung on impressively to beat Roglic by a bike length, and could barely raise his arms in celebration at the finish.

"It was very close, I looked back at 150m and saw Roglic. I'm so happy," said the 28-year-old Dane.

Another EF rider, and one of the pre-race fancied riders, Hugh Carthy, was dropped and lost around three minutes after Ineos, Jumbo and Movistar powered away in the final part of the stage.

Roglic now leads a trio of Movistar riders in the overall standings with Enric Mas at 25sec, Miguel Angel Lopez at 36 and Alejandro Valverde at 41 with Egan Bernal in fifth, also at just 41sec.

Friday's stage seven has six climbs, starting and ending with big ones as the race heads to a plateau behind the tourist region of the Costa Blanca.