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Vuelta a España Stage 3: Geniez Grinds Out Stage; Fernandez Into Lead

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ChrisF Post-Race Threadjack...

FDJ's Alexander Geniez survived out of a three-rider breakaway on the brutal 2km ramp above Mirador, in coastal Galicia, to nab the third stage of the Vuelta a España. He left behind IAM Cycling's Simon Pellaud -- who was off on a solo adventure for much of the final two hours -- and Etixx-Quick Step's Peter Serry, and ground out the climb to the finish over roads topping out at 28 percent gradient.  The trio hit 2km to go with more than a two-minute lead, but Geniez hung on by a mere 21 seconds.

Movistar's Ruben Fernandez accelerated away from the chasing group of general classification favorites to take second on the day and the overall lead. Fernandez had been pacing captains Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, but neither one (nor few other rational beings) found the road especially to their liking, so Fernandez went up the road a bit and into Red.

Favorite Chris Froome of Sky seemed briefly about to lose some time, but he eventually clawed his way back to Quintana and gained six seconds on the Colombian and the other Colombian, Esteban Chaves of Orica-BikeExchange. Tinkoff's Alberto Contador conceded half a minute to his rivals, while Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana crashed late in the race and finished several minutes down.

Results

1 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ 4:28:36
2 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:21
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:26
4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
5 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:32
7 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data
8 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:54
9 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team
10 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step

GC

1 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team 9:16:07
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:07
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:11
4 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange 0:00:17
5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
6 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:46
7 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:47
8 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:00:51
9 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:58
10 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:01

Vuelta stage 3 profile

Marín - Dumbría/ Mirador de Ézaro 176.4 km

Patented nasty Vuelta finish with a 1.8 km climb at 13.8% (=ouch......damn!........ouch). Watch the preview here.

Vertigo-champ of the Day: Alberto Contador

Best bet before we have seen who's hot and who's not at this point.

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