BARCELONA (Reuters) - Slovene rider Matej Mohoric won stage seven of the Vuelta a Espana on Friday with a margin of 16 seconds as the 22-year-old collected his first stage win at a grand tour, while there was no change in the general classification.
Chris Froome held on to the red jersey as well as his 11-second lead over nearest challenger Esteban Chaves. The Briton remains in a strong position one-third into the 21-day race as he aims to become the first rider in 39 years to win the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same season.
Froome, Chaves and the other general classification contenders finished the race together, 8 minutes and 38 seconds behind Mohoric.
Polish rider Pawel Poljanski finished runner-up in the stage in consecutive days, jostling with Jose Rojas and Thomas de Gendt for second place in the final 10 kilometers.
Mohoric surged ahead of the leading group by skillfully attacking on the descent of the Alto del Castillo hill toward the end of the 207km stage from Lliria to Cuenca, the longest stage of the race.
Eritrean rider Merhawi Kudus and U.S champion Larry Warbasse have been forced to abandon the Vuelta after crashing 90km from the finish line.
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge