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Froome slips further off Tour of Spain lead

ESPN staff
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John Degenkolb sprayed champagne for the second successive day © Getty Images
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Chris Froome slipped further off the Tour of Spain lead as John Degenkolb got up to claim his second successive stage win in a controversial sprint finish.

Degenkolb held off stage one winner Nacer Bouhanni at the end of the 180 kilometre fifth stage between Priego de Cordoba and Ronda.

Cav back to winning ways

  • Mark Cavendish put his Tour de France injury disappointment behind him with victory in the opening stage of the Tour de Poitou-Charentes.
  • The Omega-PharmaQuick Step rider clinched a thrilling sprint finish at the end of the 192.4 kilometre route through La Ronde to secure his first win since returning from a dislocated shoulder, which he suffered in the opening stage of Le Tour.
  • "It's a nice feeling to win again, especially after such a well-executed sprint," Cavendish said. "In the next few days we'll see if we can try again and continue this winning mood."

Bouhanni thought he had been obstructed during the race for the line but had to settle for second, with Belkin's Moreno Hofland taking third place.

Great Britain's Froome is 13th in the overall standings, having taken a couple of seconds off second-place and race favourite Nairo Quintana when moving smartly to claim some bonus time in the stage's intermediate sprint.

However, he finished five seconds adrift of race leader Michael Matthews after the peloton split nearing the finish.

Race leader Matthews also earned a few seconds on Quintana after his rival finished alongside Froome and Alejandro Valverde. Australian Matthews leads Quintana by 13 seconds in the overall standings and will retain the red jersey for stage five.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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