Vuelta a Espana: Elia Viviani wins stage three as Michal Kwiatkowski retains lead

Elia Viviani celebrates winning stage three of the Vuelta a Espana

Elia Viviani won the the points classification at the Giro d’Italia this year

Italian champion Elia Viviani won stage three of the Vuelta a Espana as Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski retained the leader’s red jersey.

Quick-Step Floors rider Viviani, 29, beat compatriot Giacomo Nizzolo and world champion Peter Sagan in a sprint finish to the 178km stage from Mijas to Alhaurin de la Torre.

Team Sky’s Kwiatkowski finished in the bunch to maintain his 14-second lead over Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde.

Britain’s Simon Yates is 12th overall.

Viviani, who won the 2018 Dubai Tour and four stages at the Giro d’Italia this year, sprinted to victory in the 1,500th stage in the race’s history.

He has won 15 stages this season after leaving Team Sky.

“This wonderful season continues,” he said. “It’s difficult to control a stage like this but we wanted it.”

Viviana was led out by team-mate Michael Morkov before beating Trek-Segafredo’s Nizzolo by more than a bike length to win in four hours 48 minutes 12 seconds.

Stage four on Tuesday takes the riders 162km from Velez-Malaga to Alfacar, with a 1,440m-high finish in the Sierra de la Alfaguara.

Defending champion Chris Froome and fellow Briton and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas are not competing in the Vuelta.

Stage three result

1. Elia Viviani (Ita/Quick-Step Floors) 4 hours 48 minutes 12 seconds

2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

3. Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA-hansgrohe)

4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/Cofidis, Solutions Credits)

5. Simone Consonni (Ita/UAE Team Emirates)

6. Danny van Poppel (Ned/Team LottoNL-Jumbo)

7. Michael Morkov (Den/Quick-Step Floors)

8. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

9. Ryan Gibbons (RSA/Team Dimension Data)

10. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel/EF Education First-Drapac)

General classification

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) 9hrs 10mins 52secs

2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar Team) +14secs

3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Team Sunweb) +25secs

4. Laurens de Plus (Bel/Quick-Step Floors) +28secs

5. Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida) +30secs

6. Fabio Felline (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) Same time

7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +32secs

8. Tony Gallopin (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +33secs

9. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) Same time

10. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) +35secs

Selected others

12. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +37 secs

41. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky) +1min 50secs

154. Adam Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +18mins 20secs

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