Belgium’s Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEDGE) doubled up on stage wins at the Vuelta a Burgos after springing another well timed attack on the final climb of the day to take stage three. Meanwhile, Anthony Roux (FDJ) held on to his lead at the top of the general classification after finishing second behind Keukeleire.
The 175km testing stage between Villadiego and Complejo Kartico consisted of no less then six category-three climbs, presenting another difficult uphill finish for the riders that fractured the peloton.
Race leader Roux was guided expertly up the final climb by his FDJ teammates, but had to battle hard to hold on Keukeleire’s wheel as the Belgian rider made an attack akin to his superb win the day before.
A four-man breakaway had formed earlier in the day, consisting of Anthony Ravard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Zak Dempster (NetApp-Endura), Janez Brajkovic (Astana) and Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural), with the latter duo managing to hold out impressively until there were around 13km remaining, when they were finally caught by the main bunch.
The final 10 or so kilometres saw a flurry of attacks out of the bunch, and a group eventually formed of 11 riders. The pace increased in the peloton though, and a lack of cohesion between the breakaway group saw them reeled in quickly.
French team FDJ then put the hammer down into the final climb in a bid to protect Anthony Roux’s overall contention, but it was Keukeleire who once again took stage glory.
Stage three result
1 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEDGE, 4:13:33
2 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ, same time
3 Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale, st
4 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, st
5 Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Katusha, st
6 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ, st
7 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana, st
8 Carlos Barbero (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, +3sec
9 Francesco Failli (Ita) Vini Fantini, st
10 Mikel Landa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, st
1 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ, 11:07:09
2 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana, +2sec
3 Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus) Katusha, same time
4 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEDGE, +3
5 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ, +7
6 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, +10
7 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini, st
8 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +11
9 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky, st
10 Jeffry Romero (Col) Colombia, st