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Martin in eighth place after stage 19 of Vuelta a Espana

Daniel Martin is in eighth place after the 19th stage of the Vuelta a Espana.

Australia's Adam Hansen crowned his 10th successive Grand Tour appearance with victory on stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana on Friday.

The Lotto-Belisol rider sprang clear of the field with a little more than four kilometres of the 180.5km run from Salvaterra de Mino to Cangas de Morrazo and built a big enough margin to hang on to the end.

When the pack followed over the line five seconds later, Giant-Shimano's John Degenkolb took second to reinforce his hold on the points leaders' jersey.

There were no major changes in the general classification ahead of a major climbing day on Saturday, with Tinkoff-Saxo's Alberto Contador leading Team Sky's Chris Froome by one minutes 19 seconds, and Movistar's Alejandro Valverde a further 12 seconds back.

The largely flat stage was punctuated by two category two climbs late on, giving hope for a breakaway success, and Laurent Mangel (FDJ), Pim Ligthat (Lotto-Belisol) and Wouter Poels (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) were those who chanced their hand as they went clear 25km in.

Their lead approached three and a half minutes on the first of the two climbs, but quickly fell on the descent and they had been reeled in before the start of the second.

Astana's Alexey Lutsenko attacked on the second climb, with wet roads leaving the peloton nervous, and he reached the summit around 10 seconds clear.

BMC's Sammy Sanchez tried to catch him on the descent, but the treacherous surface made conditions difficult and there was a frightening fall for Sky's Dario Cataldo, who appeared to slide into a tree but eventually climbed back on to his bike.

Lutsenko's slim advantage held until the 5km mark, and soon after he was swallowed up, Hansen made his move.

With others still jockeying on the front of the pack, he had an 11 second lead with a kilometre to go and was able to ease up and enjoy the second Grand Tour stage win of his career.

The Vuelta now enters the final weekend, with Saturday's stage full of climbs on the way to the summit finish at Puerto De Ancares before Sunday's brief individual time trial could offer a sting in the tail.

Online Editors