Estonian cyclist Rein Taaramäe became overall leader of the Vuelta a España Monday, after winning the third stage.
Taaramäe, 34, from Tartu, who races for Équipe cycliste Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux completed the 202.8km Santo Domingo de Silos to Picon Blanco stage in first place, the third stage victory he has taken at a major competition in his career.
Taaramäe was in a cluster of eight riders who pulled ahead from the 12km mark on Monday, subsequently widening the gap over the rest of the field to nine minutes and going on to be whittled down to five riders 15km from the finish.
Four-and-a-half kilometers from race end, the lead group fell to three as Lilian Calmejane and Julen Amezqueta dropped back and two kilometers later, the remaining two cyclists, Kenny Elissonde and Joe Dombrowski, who had been with Taaramäe throughout, also had to concede.
Dombrowski finally lost 21 seconds to Taaramäe, Elissonde was 36 seconds 5 behind.
The Estonian also became the leader in the overall standings, ahead of Elissonde and Primož Roglic, who had been red-shirt wearer (the color of a stage leader in the Vuelta a España) at the beginning of the day' events.
Taaramäe last won a stage at the Vuelta a España 10 years ago, while his other stage win at a major tour came in 2016, at the Giro d'Italia.
The other Estonian in the race, Martin Laas (BORA – hansgrohe), finished 21.53 minutes after Taaramäe.
Editor: Andrew Whyte