Quintana stays ahead as Nielsen wins Spanish Vuelta stage
GANDIA, Spain (AP) Nairo Quintana of Colombia preserved his lead of nearly four minutes over Chris Froome in the Spanish Vuelta after a flat stage won by Magnus Cort Nielsen of Denmark on Thursday.
Quintana finished with the peloton to stay 3 minutes, 37 seconds ahead of Britain's Froome after the 200-kilometer (124-mile) stage from Requena to Gandia on the Mediterranean coast, with Esteban Chaves of Colombia and Alberto Contador of Spain less than 30 seconds behind.
Nielsen thrived in the final sprint to beat Nikias Arndt of Germany and Jempy Drucker of Luxembourg at the line, with the peloton closely behind.
Riders faced little adversity with only one small climb during Thursday's 18th stage.
Froome will have a chance to cut Quintana's lead during Friday's 37-kilometer (23-mile) individual time trial.