Vuelta a Espana 2013: Tony Martin beaten in final 20m

German Tony Martin was denied a 175km breakaway victory on stage six of the Vuelta a Espana when he was caught in the final 20 metres of the race.

The 28-year-old, who raced clear in the opening kilometre of the stage between Guijuelo and Caceres, finished seventh.

Denmark's Michael Morkov won with Maximiliano Richeze in second and Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara third.

Race favourite Vincenzo Nibali of Italy retained the overall race lead for a third straight stage.

Nibali, 28, keeps the red leader's jersey for Friday's seventh stage, a second consecutive flat ride that stretches 206km from Almendralejo to Mairena del Alijarafe.

Martin said he expected other riders to follow him when he accelerated away from the peloton in the first kilometre.

"I wanted to break away and I was hoping to go with a few other guys but nobody could follow so I just kept going," he said.

The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider was ultimately disappointed he could not close out an unlikely victory.

"I couldn't go any faster than I did in the last 200m," he said.

"When you do something like that it's always bittersweet. From one end you think you could have won with a bit more luck - on the other hand I felt like a winner."

Result of stage six

1. Michael Morkov (Denmark/ Team Saxo-Tinkoff) 3:54:15"

2. Maximiliano Richeze (Argentina/ Lampre-Merida)

3. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland/ RadioShack-Leopard)

4. Tyler Farrar (USA/ Garmin-Sharp)

5. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spain/ Vacansoleil-DCM)

6. Michael Matthews (Australia/ Orica-GreenEdge)

7. Tony Martin (Germany/ Omega Pharma-Quick Step)

8. Gianni Meersman (Belgium/ Omega Pharma-Quick Step)

9. Philippe Gilbert (Belgium/ BMC Racing Team)

10. Graeme Brown (Australia/ Belkin Pro Cycling)

Overall standings after six stages

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) 22:38:07"

2. Chris Horner (US / RadioShack) +3"

3. Nicolas Roche (Ireland / Saxo - Tinkoff) +8"

4. Haimar Zubeldia (Spain / RadioShack) +16"

5. Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar) +21"

6. Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / RadioShack) +26"

7. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky) +28"