Britain’s Dan Fleeman came third in the first stage of Volta Ciclista da Ascension, a three-stage race in Spain, yesterday.

The 170km stage, starting and finishing in Santiago, was won by Jonas Ljungblad of Sweden. Fleeman’s An Post-M Donnelly-Grant Thornton-Sean Kelly team-mate Benny De Schrooder was second.

“I was away for the final 60km,” Fleeman told Cycling Weekly. “First I jumped across to the early break with a team-mate. Then I went in a group of four, but as that got caught I went solo.”

“My team mate, Benny De Schrooder, jumped across to me and we did 30 kilometres together, but in the final five kilometres [stage winner] Jonas Ljungblad caught us and won the sprint.”

Before today’s second stag Fleeman said: “I wasn’t too disappointed because we are going for the GC, and now we are in a really strong position with three cards to play. Benny is second, I’m third and Dan Lloyd is 13th but at only 20 seconds.”

“It’s going to be really hard for Llungblad’s team, P3 Transfer to control us. We are going to make them hurt, then I’ll throw the hammer blow. My form is so good at the moment, I could do what I liked on the climbs yesterday and every stage here is mega hilly.”

Fleeman signed with Sean Kelly’s outfit after the implosion of the Pedaltech squad at the beginning of the year.