Juan Sebastian Molano sprinted to stage 12 victory in the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday, while Sepp Kuss kept the red jersey.
Molano lost to Kaden Groves in the burst to the line at the end of stage four but this time was too fast for the Australian at the end of the flat 151 kilometres from Olvega to Zaragoza.
Led out by his UAE Team Emirates colleagues, Molano took the stage victory ahead of Groves, who had earlier won the intermediate sprint to tighten his grip on the green jersey.
Kuss stayed 26 seconds ahead of Marc Soler and one minute 9 seconds in front of reigning champion Remco Evenepoel in the general classification battle.
Three-time Vuelta winner Primoz Roglic, fourth, gained four seconds by finishing second in the intermediate sprint.
“Thanks to my team — they were amazing today,” said Molano. “I’m very happy to win a stage in the Vuelta last year, now this year.”
The Colombian was hit by a car while training in Belgium in March, leaving him concussed and with a broken toe.
“After the incident (it was) not easy to return but now it’s okay and I’m very happy,” he added.
Stage 13 on Friday is a key one for general classification contenders, featuring over 4,000 metres of climbing in the Pyrenees on a 135-kilometre run from Formigal to the Col du Tourmalet in France.
⚡ ¡Nuevo sprint en La Vuelta!
🤩 Dos valientes en la fuga del día: Bol y Balderstone.
🇨🇴 Molano es el más rápido.
❤️ Roglic en la lucha por la bonificación.
— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) September 7, 2023