Roche finishes in main bunch in Spain

Nicolas Roche is still firmly in contention after he finished safely in the bunch on the fifth stage of the Vuelta a Espana today.

Nicolas Roche is still firmly in contention after he finished safely in the bunch on the fifth stage of the Vuelta a Espana today.

The Irish cyclist is in eighth place overall, 24 seconds behind the leader, Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez, after navigating seven relatively flat laps of the 40km circuit through La Rioja province.

Team Sky's Chris Froome is just one second off the lead.

John Degenkolb of Argos-Shimano clinched the stage win on a photo finish as he powered through the final kilometre of a 168km ride around Logrono.

Daniele Bennati (Radioshack-Nissan) and Gianna Meersman (Lotto Belisol Team) were left stunned as the German emerged from the bunch sprint to claim a second stage win in five days.

Alberto Contador of Team Saxo Bank remains in the third place, five seconds shy of his countryman Rodriguez.

Tomorrow's stage covers the 175.4km between Tarazona and Jaca, over which riders must tackle two category three climbs in the mountains of Aragon.

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