Vuelta 2016 Stage 3: Geniez solos to victory, Fernandez new leader

Stage 3 in the Vuelta a España is a 174.4 kilometres challenge. The apogee comes in the shape of the Mirador de Ezaro, which is a 2 kilometres toil at 14%. Escapee Alexandre Geniez survives the monster to solo to victory, while Rubén Fernandez finishes in second to take the red jersey. Froome, Chaves, Valverde and Quintana are the best GC contenders. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 3rd stage Vuelta a España

1. Alexandre Geniez (fra)
2. Ruben Fernandez (spa) + 0.21
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.26
4. Chris Froome (spa) s.t.
5. Esteban Chaves (col) s.t.
6. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.32
7. Igor Anton (spa) s.t.
8. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 0.54
9. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
10. Gianlucca Brambilla (ita) s.t.

13. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 0.56
24. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 1.14
41. Simon Yates (gbr) + 1.41
51. Robert Gesink (nld) + 2.02
53. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) s.t.
105. Tejay van Garderen (usa) + 7.55
135. Miguel Ángel Lopez (col) + 12.33

GC after the 3rd stage
1. Ruben Fernandez (spa)
2. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.07
3. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.11
4. Esteban Chaves (col) + 0.17
5. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.
6. Samuel Sánchez (spa) + 0.46
7. Peter Kennaugh (gbr) + 0.47
8. Leopold König (cze) + 0.51
9. Daniel Moreno (spa) + 0.58
10. Gianluca Brambilla (ita) + 1.01

11. Simon Yates (gbr) + 1.23
12. Alberto Contador (spa) + 1.31
18. Andrew Talansky (usa) + 1.52
27. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 2.14
42. Louis Meintjes (rsa) + 2.49
67. Robert Gesink (nld) + 5.01

Race report
Several riders go on the attack early on, yet, it takes 15 kilometres for the proper break to take shape. The names are Alexandre Geniez, Pieter Serry, Rudiger Selig, Gatis Smukulis, Simon Pellaud, Jérôme Cousin and David Arroyo. They race to a lead at over 5 minutes.

While climbing up the Alto de Lestaio the front group breaks up. Pellaud is the first to crest with a small advantage gap over the other escapees. By then the bunch is almost 7 minutes down.

At the Alto das Paxareiras Serry and Geniez hook up to leave Pellaud alone. When cresting the peloton is almost 4 minutes down on the two leaders.

In the drop Pellaud re-joins the front of the race. They hit the closing climb with a 2 minutes gain. Soon Pellaud is dropped, while Geniez goes solo with 1.1 kms to go. Which is a wise decision as Movistar speeds up on the lower slopes. Valverde, Quintana and Fernandez drop Froome, Contador and Kruijswijk, while Chaves is the only non-Movistar rider to follow.

Geniez soloes to victory. Fernandez leaves his leaders alone in the last kilometre and Froome rises from the dead to hook up with them. In the dying metres of the race Quintana gets dropped, yet he limits his losses. Contador, however, has to suffer another blow after losing time in the team time trial.

Fernandez is the new leader in the Vuelta a España.

Vuelta a España 2016 stage 3: height profile, route maps, and more

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Alexandre Geniez

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