Vuelta a Espana: Nacer Bouhanni wins stage six as Rudy Molard retains overall lead

Nacer Bouhanni
Bouhanni's win in Murcia, was his first Grand Tour victory since 2014

France's Nacer Bouhanni sprinted to victory in stage six of the Vuelta a Espana, as compatriot Rudy Molard retained his overall lead.

Dutchman Danny van Poppel was second, with Italy's Elia Viviani in third after a tight sprint finish in Murcia to the 155.7km flat race.

A crash split the peloton with 25km remaining and Molard finished in a front group of 50 riders.

He holds a 41-second advantage over Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski.

Britain's Simon Yates was also in the leading group and is 51 seconds behind Molard, while the Frenchman's Groupama-FDJ team-mate Thibaut Pinot lost one minute 44 seconds to his rivals.

Both Bouhanni and Molard were given time penalties before the start of Thursday's stage for taking feeds during the final 20km of the stage five.

Bouhanni was docked 30 seconds, while Molard was handed a 20-second penalty which cut his lead.

"It was a really hard and very fast in the finale," said Bouhanni. "I was really determined to win today after what happened.

"I was really annoyed with the false information," he added in reference to Spanish media reports which said he had been penalised for a team bust-up.

Trek-Segafredo's Fabio Felline and Sunweb's Mike Teunissen crashed after hitting bollards placed in the middle of the road after a tight, unsighted corner with 25km to ride.

A number of riders also collided with barriers that had blown across the road just after the finish line.

Friday's stage has two third category climbs over 185.7km between Puerto Lumbreras and Pozo Alcon.

Stage six result

1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/Cofidis) 3hrs 58mins 35secs

2. Danny van Poppel (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo) Same time

3. Elia Viviani (Ita/Quick-Step Floors)

4. Simone Consonni (Ita/UAE Team Emirates)

5. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

6. Ivan Garcia (Spa/Bahrain-Merida)

7. Omar Fraile (Spa/Astana Pro Team)

8. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team)

9. Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA-hansgrohe)

10. Michael Morkov (Den/Quick-Step Floors)

Selected others: Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) Same time

General classification

1. Rudy Molard (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) 22hrs 26mins 15secs

2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) +41secs

3. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/BORA-hansgrohe) +48secs

4. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +51secs

5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +53secs