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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.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.