Chris Froome was in a chasing group with the likes of Valverde, Quintana, Aru and Van Garderen at 11 seconds. Chaves is back in red, 10 seconds clear of Dumoulin. Martin is up to third on GC, leapfrogging compatriot Roche.
Córdoba - Sierra de Cazorla
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Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) takes second place ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin). They were 5 seconds down.
He was wearing white today as the best young rider, but he'll be back in red tonight. That's GreenEdge's third win of the race - and Chaves's second.
Victory for Esteban Chaves of Orica-GreenEdge.
Now Nico Roche stretches his legs, prompting Valverde to reply. Chaves is grimacing in pain - but he will win today, and take the red jersey back.
Martin has Dumoulin in his sights, but Chaves looks to have done it...
The gap is 14 seconds for Chaves over the pack, with Dumoulin in between. Dan Martin is trying to bridge the gap.
Now Tom Dumoulin surges clear when the road flattens out. The red jersey is soloing clear in pursuit of Chaves in a bid to protect his race lead. Just one second splits them on GC.
A Giant rider is leading the chase, with Valverde and Aru right behind.
Cummings comes to a standstill on the 15% ramp! Chaves passes by and the little Colombian has a lead of 30m over the pack.
Cofidis and Orica-GreenEdge are pushing on. Perhaps Chaves is going to go for a second win to regain the red jersey?
Cummings is on the short, fast descent ahead of the final climb to the line: 3.3km at 6.3% with a max gradient of 15.5%. He has 20 seconds. It won't be nearly enough.
Under the 5km to go banner goes Cummings. He's not yet on the climb proper, but it's already rather leg-sapping. He has 35 seconds to play with, but the other escapees have been caught.
The pace has seen numerous riders tailed off - and one of those struggling to stay in touch is Peter Sagan, the green jersey.
Cummings is rolling along well. He has 55 seconds over the peloton, and MTN-Qhubeka have Louis Meintjes as a foil too.
The gradient ramps up to a maximum 15.5% at the start of today's final climb, which is coming right up.
Terpstra is chasing Cummings, but the other escapees look to have thrown in the towel. Back in the pack and Team Sky and Astana have come forward ahead of the final climb.
Cummings decides enough is enough and he pings off the front. Someone needed to do that: the pack has closed in to within 35 seconds of the peloton. Katusha are trying to slow the pace down in the peloton, but to no avail - Movistar continue the chase.
CRASH: Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida) has hit the deck. He's back on his bike and on his way, but fairly shaken up.
Rubiano leads the break through the (uncontested) intermediate sprint at Real de Becerro just after the 15-to-go banner - and they have just 35 seconds now to play with.
Geraint Thomas and Christian Knees have picked up musettes of water bottles for Team Sky. It's really hot out there - and Rubiano, in the break, just poured the remainder of his bidon over his head. The Colombian has a cut on his right elbow from that crash earlier.
A reminder of the six leaders: Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep), Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida), Peter Velits (BMC), Steven Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) and Miguel Angel Rubiano (Team Colombia). They have been out since the 60km mark, with Rubiano joining them a bit later after chasing on. The gap is 1:10 now.
Now it's Sutherland on the front of the pack - and not tucked in just off the front - for Movistar. The gap's 1:45.
Now the chase is more serious, with Giant and Movistar stringing out the peloton considerably. It's very hot out there, with no wind to speak of. Velits in particular has salt marks all over his jersey. The gap has dropped to 1:50.
The gap is not coming down that quickly. 2:30 at the latest check.
Rory Sutherland is the Movistar rider on the front with Giant-Alpecin, while his team-mates ride in a pack a bit further back. The landscape is quite arid now, with olive groves stretching out as far as the eye can see.
Finally we have the order over the top of the mountain confirmed: 1. Gautrier, 2. Rubiano, 3. Durasek. That puts Frenchman Gautier into sixth in the polka dot standings, on 3pts.
The Movistar team-mates of Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde have come to the front to lend a hand to Giant-Alpecin in their chase. Meanwhile, practically the whole of the Cannondale-Garmin team mirrors their efforts on the back of the peloton. Thw gap is down to 2:40 for the six leaders. We still have no confirmation of who went over the climb in pole position - but whatever's the case, no one can take Fraile's polka dot jersey today.
The break has crested the summit of the Alto de Bazea and seen their advantage drop to 3:15. With Peter Sagan taking a rare day off - despite trying to get in the break earlier - Tinkoff-Saxo are not leading the chase, for a change.
This is a good chance to remind you about the KOM standings: Spaniard Omar Fraile (Caja Rural) has been in the blue polka dots for three days now. He leads the standings on 13 points after taking a maximum haul over two climbs in stage three. Walter Pedraza (Team Colombia) and Natnael Berhane (MTN-Qhubeka) are level on seven points in second place.
The leaders are approaching the Cat.3 Alto de Bazea (11.8 km at 3.9%). They still have four minutes to play with.
The final man in the break is the last man to join it, Colombia's Miguel Angel Rubiano. The 30-year-old crashed while trying to bridge the gap, then got dropped once he made the junction, but he's back with the leaders again. This is Rubiano's first Vuelta having ridden in four Giro d'Italias, winning a stage in 2012. The Team Colombia rider's other pro win came in the 2011 Tour de San Luis.
Croatia's Kristijan Durasek has also been involved in a break earlier in this year's Vuelta. The 28-year-old from Lampre-Merida won the Tour of Turkey this year as well as a stage on the Tour de Suisse. This is his first Vuelta.
The gap is still just under four minutes for the six escapees - which means Gautier is the virtual red jersey. The French puncheur is currently 3:07 down on Dumoulin on GC.
Peter Velits has been pretty active in this year's race: not only did the Slovakian wear the first red jersey after BMC's win in the opening team time trial in Marbella, Velits was involved in the breakaway a couple of days ago. The 30-year-old won a stage of the 2010 Vuelta in which he effectively finished second on GC behind Vincenzo Nibali following the later disqualification of Ezequiel Mosquera.
Britain's Steve Cummings won a stage in the Vuelta in 2012 and this July opened up his Tour de France account in Mende. This is the 34-year-old MTN-Qhubeka rider's first appearance in the Vuelta since that win, which he achieved while riding for BMC.
Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep) is riding his fourth Vuelta. The 31-year-old Dutch national champion and classics specialist is a former Paris-Roubaix winner and this year he has stage and GC scalps in both the Tour of Qatar and the Tour de Wallonie.
The gap is 4:30 for the leaders with the Giant-Alpecin team of the red jersey Tom Dumoulin setting the tempo on the front of the pack.
Frenchman Cyril Gautier is in this break. The 27-year-old is riding his debut Vuelta after six appearances in the Tour de France. Gautier, whose last win came in the Tour du Limousin in 2014, is joining Ag2R-La Mondiale next season. And the Europcar exodus continues: today it was announced that Gautier's team-mate Pierre Rolland will join Cannondale-Garmin next season with the future of Jean-Rene Bernaudeau's Europcar team still in doubt.
Yo-yoing Colombian Miguel Angel Rubiano is back with the leaders so we have six men now out ahead, holding a 4:05 lead over the peloton.
After all that effort - which included biting the bitumen - Rubiano cannot keep up with the five other escapees and drops back. The average pace for the second hour of the stage was still very high - 45.7kmph.
Despite the crash, Rubiano manages to join the leaders. The gap back to the peloton is three minutes.
CRASH: Lone chaser Rubiano crashes while trying to bridge the gap. Colombian calamity!
Team Colombia have a man in pursuit of the leaders - Miguel Angel Rubiano. He's about a minute down on the break and 1:15 ahead of the pack, so very much riding 'chasse patate'.
Finally a break that looks like it will stick - despite the attempts of LottoNL-Jumbo and Team Colombia to bring it back. Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep), Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida), Peter Velits (BMC) and Steven Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) have about a minute over the pack on these rolling roads in southern Spain.
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) is one of 11 riders to open up a small gap - but they're reeled in. There's no let-up in the peloton today. Sagan is the green jersey holder on 61 points. John Degenkolb is second in the classification on 36pts and Alejandro Valverde third on 35.
Slovenia's Matej Mohoric (Cannondale-Garmin) has withdrawn from the race after struggling off the back and paying and several trips back to the medical car. The pace of 48kmh proved too much for the 20-year-old Grand Tour debutant.
Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) was one of numerous riders to try and force a break - but nothing stuck in a fast opening phase of the stage.
An early attack from Australia's Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) came to nothing.
That means 190 rider rolled out of the start today at Cordoba under a cloudless blue sky in Andalusia.
One withdrawal this morning: David De La Cruz (Etixx-QuickStep) has called it a day. The Spaniard was riding the Vuelta only two weeks after breaking a collarbone in the Tour de Pologne and the opening week has proved too much.
Due to a little split in the peloton, Colombian stage two winner Chaves dropped to second place in the overall standings, one second behind Dutchman Dumoulin. Ireland’s Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) completes the top three, 16 seconds in arrears – with team-mate Chris Froome up to seventh at 35 seconds.
Yesterday, neo-pro Caleb Ewan won a maiden Grand Tour stage win with victory at Alcalá de Guadaíra, surging past John Degenkolb and Peter Sagan on the uphill rise to the finish. Ewan's Orica-GreenEdge team-mate Esteban Chaves lost the red jersey, however, to Dutchman Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin.
Hola and welcome to live coverage of stage 6 of the Vuelta a Espana - an undulating 200km slog from Cordoba to Sierra de Cazorla which culiminates in a punchy Cat.3 uphill finish.