Javi Moreno rode away with the stage and the leader’s jersey in a huge win for his Caja Rural team at rainy mountain stage at the Vuelta a Asturias in northern Spain.
Moreno won out of a five-man group that left the rest of the pack behind on the Acebo final summit finish under heavy rain in the five-climb third stage at Asturias.
Overnight leader and two-stage winner Stefan Schumacher (Miche) was dropped early, but teammate and defending champion Tino Zaballa was there to go on the attack up the final climb. He found company and couldn’t shake his pursuers.
Moreno made a nicely timed attack to win eight seconds ahead of Sergio Sousa (Barbot), with Zaballa trailing through at 24 seconds back.
Moreno carries a 13-second lead to Zaballa going into Sunday’s fourth stage, with Sousa settling into third overall at 36 seconds back. Schumacher dropped to ninth at 4:07 in arrears.