Julian Alaphilippe climbed to a maiden Grand Tour victory and Chris Froome extended his lead on stage eight of the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday.
Alaphilippe won the three-rider sprint ahead of Slovenia's Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) and Poland's Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) to claim the stage.
"For me it's been a little bit complicated for two or three stages, I didn't feel so good, but I think it's the same for everybody".
The three-time Tour de France victor is aiming to become only the third person to win La Vuelta and the Tour in the same year and the first since 1978.
The pair finished together, 1min 27sec behind Alaphilippe but crucially 15sec ahead of the other general classification contenders.
It came after another Frenchman in Tour de France King of the Mountains jersey victor Warren Barguil was sent home from the race by Team Sunweb after refusing to follow orders.
"The most important thing for me was to try and keep pushing trying to open up the time gaps and we'll see where we are after fist rest day".
"We've had a great start with the team, from the beginning of the race we are always in the front". I was thinking tomorrow might be a good final for me, but today a big group went away after 40kilometres.
Contador (Trek-Segafredo), on his final race before heading into retirement, is 17th, 3:10 off the pace after losing considerable ground in the first week but the Spaniard had been gradually climbing up the rankings since then.
In the end Marczynski was just too strong at the end of a long, hot day in the saddle, crossing the line to win in emphatic style, denying Quick-Step Floors their third victory of the race.
Froome was also able to reflect on a job well done, but Barguil was left with very different emotions after his race was cut short.
"That's the hardest day of the Vuelta so far", said Froome.