Irishman Sam Bennett emerged victorious following a bunch sprint which brought to a climax stage three of the Vuelta a España in Alicante today.
The 28-year-old romped home in the sprint after passing the Trek-Segafredo lead-out. It was his fourth Grand Tour stage win and his first at the Vuelta.
The Bora-Hansgrohe rider beat Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) into second, with Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) crossing the line in third.
“The team got me in the right place at the right time. If it wasn’t for the team effort today I definitely wouldn’t have got it,” said Bennett.
“I went with momentum to the left, got on Trek and I knew it was a really fast final and kicked first. I think Trek waited a little bit too long.
“I’m delighted to get it. It means a lot to take a Grand Tour stage victory, especially in the Irish national champion’s jersey.”
The breakaway of the day came just 8km into the 188km stage and consisted of King of the Mountains leader Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), teammate Óscar Cabedo and Héctor Sáez (Euskadi-Murias).
The trio had a maximum gap of just over six minutes to the peloton.
Madrazo was on his own as he reached the summit of the Puerto de Tibi, with just under 40km to the finish.
Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin) was on his wheel before taking over the solo lead, but he was soon caught by the peloton.
The peloton remained together until Bennett executed his sprint to claim the stage win.
Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) retained the overall lead, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) two seconds behind and Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) eight seconds adrift.
View the results below.
Stage three results
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 4:25:02
2. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
5. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
6. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Deceuninck-Quick-Step
7. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-Quick-Step
8. Cyril Barthe (Fra) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
9. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC Team
10. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
1. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb 9:51:14
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:02
3. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:00:08
4. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:22
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:33
6. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:35
7. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education First 0:00:37
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:38
9. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:46
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
44. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data +0:02:13
69. Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data +0:04:00
152. Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin +0:18:39
164. Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data +0:21:57