Zdenek Stybar beat world champion Philippe Gilbert in a photo finish to win Friday's seventh stage of the Vuelta a Espana.

Ireland's Nicolas Roche of the Saxo-Tinkoff team finished 27th on today's stage to remain third in the overall classification, eight seconds off the lead.

Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) finished 116th to lie in 43rd place overall, three minutes and 39 seconds behind the overall leader.

Stybar and Gilbert made a late bid for victory on the 206-kilometre route from Almendralejo to Mairena del Aljarafe, attacking with 10km to go.

Czech rider Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was able to hold off the challenge of Gilbert (BMC Racing) by a tyre's width, to finish in four hours 51 minutes 27 seconds.

A charging peloton was led in one second behind by Robert Wagner (Belkin), who was third.

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) retained the overall lead by three seconds, from American Chris Horner (RadioShack) who lies in second place.

Saturday's eighth stage is the 167km route from Jerez de la Frontera to a summit finish at Estepona Alto Penas Blancas.