Martin stays just ahead of Roglic and Carapaz in the hilly Vuelta stage

The third stage in the Vuelta a España, finishing on a first category climb, has become a prey for Daniel Martin. The Irish number two in the rankings was just ahead of red jersey wearer Primoz Roglic and Richard Carapaz.

Martin, who is employed by Israel Start-Up Nation, narrowed his gap in the general classification to 5 seconds.

The 166.1 kilometer stage, from Lodosa to La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa, was initially colored by Niki Terpstra, among others. The Dutchman was part of a leading group of five riders, but the escape did not last.

A second refugee group, including former stage winner and mountain king Ángel Madrazo, then tried to stay out of the pack. Just before the final climb, at more than 7 kilometers from the finish, it was caught.

Chris Froome (Team INEOS) settled in the lead for a while to maneuver his leader Richard Carapaz, the number three in the rankings, into a good position. Classification rider Esteban Chaves had to change bikes and lost time.

In the last kilometer, ten riders remained, who started fighting it out together. Martin turned out to have the best legs. Behind Roglic and Carapaz, Wout Poels finished well in fourth place.