Vuelta a Espana 2013: Philippe Gilbert wins stage 12

World champion Philippe Gilbert won stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana in a sprint finish, while Italy's Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall lead.

Gilbert, riding for BMC, attacked in the last 250m to beat Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen to victory.

The Belgian recorded a time of four hours, three minutes and 44 seconds.

Astana's Nibali, 28, who took the race lead on Wednesday, finished in the bunch to maintain his 31-second lead over Ireland's Nicolas Roche.

Friday's 13th stage remains in the northeastern region of Catalonia for a second straight flat stage before the race heads back into the mountains for three stages in the Pyrenees.

Result of stage 12

1. Philippe Gilbert (Belgium/BMC Racing) 4 hours, 3 minutes, 44 seconds

2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway/Team Sky) same time

3. Maximiliano Richeze (Argentina/Lampre) same time

4. Luca Paolini (Italy/Katusha) same time

5. Gianni Meersman (Belgium/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) same time

6. Francesco Lasca (Italy/Caja Rural) same time

7. Steve Chainel (France/AG2R) same time

Overall standings

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy/Astana) 45 hours, 26 minutes, 6 seconds

2. Nicolas Roche (Ireland/Saxo-Tinkoff) +31 seconds

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spain/Movistar) +46

4. Chris Horner (US/RadioShack) same time

5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain/Katusha) +2:33

6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy/AG2R) +2:44