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Italian champion takes his first stage victory in the Spanish Grand Tour

Quick Step Floor sprinter Elia Viviani has won Stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana in Alhaurín de la Torre de la Torre this afternoon. Team Sky’s Michal Kwitkowski retains the overall lead.

Italian national champion Viviani prevailed over his compatriot Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek-Segafredo and world champion Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe to win the 178.2-kilometre stage from Mijas.

Team Sky had performed the early duties in keeping the day’s six-man break in check on a day that in paper looked like one for the sprinters despite a couple of categorised climbs.

The breakaway’s numbers were swelled with around 40 kilometres remaining as several riders counter-attacked from the bunch.

But with Quick Step Floors now setting the tempo in the bunch, there was little prospect of the escapees staying away and the final member of the break, Bora-Hansgrohe’s Lukas Pöstlberger, was caught with around 5 kilometres remaining.

The Austrian had been one of the riders who counter-attacked today, as was Lotto-Soudal’s Victor Campenaerts, who crashed after overcooking a descent but was able to continue.

In the finale, Viviani was perfectly positioned by his team mate Michael Morkov as he took his first ever victory in the Spanish Grand Tour to add to his five stage victories at the Giro d’Italia, a race in which he won the points jersey this year.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.