Adam Blythe finished third on a windy second stage of the Vuelta a Espana as fellow Briton Chris Froome improved his overall standing.

Blythe crossed the line of the 203.4km route from Nimes to Gruissan just behind Quick-Step Floors duo Yves Lampaert and Matteo Trentin, with Team Sky’s Froome eight seconds off the pace in 16th.

Froome, who hopes to become just the third man to win the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same year, climbs to ninth overall, 21 seconds behind stage winner and leader Lampaert, while Sheffield-born Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) is a further 18 seconds back in 30th place.

Froome suffered a minor setback with a puncture in the final 75km, but he quickly came back to the peloton with the help of his teammates.

A crash involving around a dozen riders then put an end to the challenge of Javier Moreno (Bahrain-Merida) and Anass Ait El Abdia (UAE Team Emirates).

Sky set a very strong pace with 7km to go, but the peloton was left in pieces after Quick-Step Floors’ acceleration 2km from the stage finish.

Belgian Lampaert found an opening and attacked 1km from the end and he was rewarded with victory and the red jersey.

The 26-year-old holds a one second lead over team-mate Trentin going into Monday’s mountain stage from Prades Conflent Canigo to Andorra la Vella, with another Italian, Daniel Oss, in third position.