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Dublin: 21 °C Sunday 22 July, 2018

Another close finish at the Vuelta ends in disappointment for Nicolas Roche

That’s two top-five finishes for the Irishman in the space of three days.

Image: Cycling Weekly/Twitter

AFTER FINISHING THIRD in Sunday’s second stage of the Vuelta a Espana, Ireland’s Nicolas Roche produced another impressive performance this afternoon to move within 12 seconds of the overall lead.

The Team Sky rider came agonisingly close to winning today’s 210 kilometre stage from Estepona to Vejer de la Frontera but was reeled in down the final straight.

Roche launched a late attack on the final climb and looked likely to claim his first stage win of the tour but was unable to fend off winner Alejandro Valverde.

In the end, the 31-year-old finished fourth but remains in third place overall and fourth in the points competition.

Spaniard Valverde claimed the stage as Slovakia’s Peter Sagan again had to settle for second place.

Sagan won his first Grand Tour stage for two years on Monday after finishing second five times at the Tour de France last month, but couldn’t match Valverde’s pace up a short and steep climb to the finish.

Spain’s Dani Moreno finished third.

Esteban Chaves of Colombia retains his overall lead by five seconds from Dutchman Tom Dumoulin with Roche a further seven seconds back.

Chris Froome, who is 15 seconds behind, is aiming to become just the third man in history to win the Tour de France and the Vuelta in the same year.

The race continues on Wednesday with a 167-kilometre stage from Rota to Ronda.

Source: CyclingHub - Survive/YouTube

Additional reporting from © AFP, 2015

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Ryan Bailey

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