Estonian cyclist Rein Taaramäe has had to give up the leader's shirt in the Vuelta a España going into stage six, after two consecutive days' wearing it.
Taaramäe, racing for the Intermarche – Wanty – Gobert Materiaux team, first picked up the red shirt after winning Monday's stage, keeping it after Tuesday's following a fall less than 3km from the finish line. Since the Estonian was in the leading group at the time he came to grief, race rules state that he would tie with the stage winner, as the incident happened within the 3km from the finish.
Taaramäe, 34, from Tartu, has now dropped to 27th place overall in the 20-day-long race, following the 184,4 km Tarancon – Albacete stage.
Taaramäe had another fall Wednesday after getting caught up in a coming together which struck his bike from behind, 12km from the stage finish. While he was able to continue, the gap between him and those who had stayed in the saddle had grown too big for the Estonian to retain the leader's shirt – which is red, in the case of the Tour of Spain – for a third day.
Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) won the stage, his second of the race so far.
Overall leader going into day six is Kenny Elissone of France, with Slovene Primož Roglici just five seconds behind, and Frenchman Lilian Calmejane in third place.
Along with the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta makes up cycling's prestigious Grand Tours and passes through Pyrenees, finishing in the capital, Madrid, over a three-week period.
Thursday brings the 158.3km, mountainous Requena – Alto de la Montaña de Cullera stage.
The Vuelta a España official site is here.
Editor: Andrew Whyte