Ireland’s Nicolas Roche moved back up to third place in the general classification of the Vuelta a Espana after stage six from Vila-real to Sagunt.

Roche remains 13 seconds behind race leader Chris Froome after the two finished among a group of 18 riders who were 26 seconds behind stage winner Tomasz Marcynski of the Lotto Soudal team.

American cyclist Tejay Van Garderen had started the day in second place, three seconds ahead of Roche, but finished off the pace today, dropping back into fourth after losing ground to the leading pack.

Poland's Marczynski, who had never claimed a stage win in a Grand Tour event, pipped compatriot Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Spaniard Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) to the line following a sprint finish on the streets of Sagunto.

The trio finished the 204.4-kilometre stage from Vila-Real in a time of four hours, 47 minutes and two seconds, with the pairing of Leon Luis Sanchez (Astana) and Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) completing the top five as they crossed the line eight seconds later.

Overall leader Froome, meanwhile, was part of an 18-strong body of riders that finished next, 26 seconds back. That group included many of Froome's biggest rivals at the top of the classification - but not Van Garderen.

The American started the day 10 seconds behind Froome in second place overall, but the BMC Racing rider crashed twice in the closing stages on Thursday and he now lies 30 seconds adrift of the leader in fourth place.

That means Froome's lead at the top of the standings increases marginally to 11 seconds - the gap to Colombian Esteban Chaves of Orica-Scott - as he stays on course to become just the third man to win the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same year

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, one of only six riders in history to have won the Vuelta, Tour de France and Giro d'Italia during their careers, is 36 seconds back in fifth spot after clocking the same time as Froome on Thursday.