Steve Cummings took a tightly bunched leading pack by surprise with a powerful sprint in the last kilometre to win the third stage of the Vuelta al País Vasco.
The British rider finished in 5hrs 1min 57sec and lies 39th place overall. The 35-year-old, riding for the Dimension Data team, timed his final surge perfectly, outsprinting Simon Gerrans of Australia and Italy’s Fabio Fellinem, who were second and third respectively.
Both were given the same time as Cummings.
Spain’s Mikel Landa, riding for Team Sky, finished 37th in the same time but retained the leader’s jersey on the mountainous 193km ride from Vitoria to Lesaka that contained three category two climbs. The Dutchman Wilco Kelderman (Team LottoNl-Jumbo) lies second overall, while Landa’s Sky team-mate Sergio Henao is third.
“I’m happy with the way the race is going so far,” said Landa, who acknowledged Cummings had caught him off-guard.
Landa’s compatriot Alberto Contador, riding for Tinkoff, is fifth after a 16th-place finish on stage three, while Movistar’s Nairo Quintana is eighth after placing 26th, one behind Astana’s Fabio Aru, the winner of last year’s Vuelta a España. The Italian is down in 15th going into Thursday’s stage – the fourth of six – which is a 165km ride from Lesaka to Orio.