A mass pile up mid race, a solo break for victory and blistering heat made for a good day to watch the Vuelta A Espana on Monday.
Stage three took the bunch over 176.4 km from Marin to Mirador Ezaro in Northwest Spain.
Frenchman Alexandre Geniez of the FDJ team looked by far the strongest of the three men that remained from the main break and pushed out on his own on the final climb – a push that would prove decisive.
Behind, three time champion Alberto Contador struggled with the pace of the chase group.
Tour de France champion Christopher Froome and his principle rival Nairo Quintana not as much as they went into damage limitation mode.
Geniez was on a mission and soon it was mission complete as he crossed over for a fine solo victory.
Spaniard Ruben Fernandez took second place and with it the overall leader’s jersey.
Fernandez’s Movistar team leader Alejandro Valverde and Froome took third and fourth, Quintana sixth while Contador had to settle for 9th almost a minute back.