Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome stays among favourites as Geniez wins stage three

Chris Froome
Chris Froome followed up his Tour de France victory by winning time trial bronze at Rio 2016

Britain's Chris Froome remains in contention to add the Vuelta a Espana to his Tour de France title with a superb summit finish on stage three.

Froome, bidding to become the first man in 38 years to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same season, finished fourth on the climb to Mirador de Ezaro.

He is 11 seconds behind overall leader Ruben Fernandez, who came second.

France's Alexandre Geniez claimed his second career Grand Tour stage win, with Alejandro Valverde third.

"It's been a difficult season after a crash in Italy and I'm extremely happy for this moment," said FDJ rider Geniez.

Fernandez's fellow Spaniard and Movistar team-mate Valverde is second overall, four seconds ahead of Froome in third.

"I'm delighted to wear the red jersey. I did not expect to wear it today," said 25-year-old Fernandez.

Team Sky's Froome, 31, had displayed his remarkable climbing abilities in his third Tour victory this summer, and he put those skills to good use on the finale of the 176.4km route from Marin.

Froome eked out time on rivals Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador on the short, but steep, 1.7km climb to the finish line.

Movistar's Quintana lost six seconds on Froome, with seven-time Grand Tour winner Contador another 22 seconds further back.

The Vuelta is the third Grand Tour on the cycling calendar after the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.

Spaniard Contador was the last man to win more than one in a season - claiming the Giro and Vuelta in 2008.

Stage three result:

1. Alexandre Geniez (Fra/FDJ) 4hours 28mins 36secs

2. Ruben Fernandez (Spa/Movistar) +21secs

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +26secs

4. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) same time

5. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica)

6. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +32secs

7. Igor Anton (Spa/Dimension Data)

8. Samuel Sanchez (Spa/BMC Racing) +54secs

9. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff)

10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Etixx - Quick-Step)

General classification after stage three:

1. Ruben Fernandez (Spa/Movistar) 9hrs 16mins 7secs

2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +7secs

3. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +11secs

4. Esteban Chaves (Col/ Orica) +17secs

5. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar)

6. Samuel Sanchez (Spa/BMC Racing) +46secs

7. Peter Kennaugh (GB/Team Sky) +47secs

8. Leopold Koenig (Cze/Team Sky) +51secs

9. Daniel Moreno (Spa/Movistar) +58secs

10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Etixx - Quick-Step) +1min 1sec