Geniez wins 3rd Vuelta stage, Fernandez takes overall lead
MIRADOR DE EZARO, Spain (AP) Alexandre Geniez of France held off an attack by the title favorites on a brutal final climb to win the third stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Monday.
The FDJ rider completed the hilly 176.4-kilometer (109.6-mile) ride along the Atlantic coast finishing at the Mirador de Ezaro summit in 4 hours, 28 minutes, 36 seconds.
Spaniard Ruben Fernandez, who led a late charge by Movistar that shook up the times among the contenders, crossed 21 seconds later and took the overall lead.
Alejandro Valverde was third, just ahead of Chris Froome and fellow race rivals Esteban Chaves and Nairo Quintana.
Three-time Vuelta winner Alberto Contador couldn't stay with that bunch on the last ascent, which had a gradient that reached 30 percent, leaving him further behind in the overall standings.