Grindelwald - Damiano Cunego took the overall lead in the Tour of Switzerland on Monday, though the Italian was beaten in a sprint for the Stage 3 victory by Peter Sagan of Slovakia.
Sagan raced clear near the line to clock 3 hours, 9 minutes, 47 seconds over the mountainous 107.6-km route from Brig to Grindelwald. Cunego was second in the same time, while Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark trailed Sagan by 21 seconds in third place.
Cunego took a 54-second lead in the overall standings ahead of Juan Mauricio Soler of Colombia, who began a gray, misty day with the yellow jersey.
Soler was placed ninth on Monday in a group that lost more than one minute to the Italian leader.
Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands finished alongside Soler to retain third place overall, trailing Cunego by 1:16.
Lampre team leader Cunego made his move near the top of the steep Scheidegg pass 10 kms from the finish.
But the 21-year-old Sagan, leader of the Liquigas-Cannondale team, caught Cunego on the descent and made his decisive move with 100 meters to go.
After two days in the mountains, Tuesday's 198.4-km fourth stage from Grindelwald to Huttwil favours sprinters.
The nine-day event is the last major warmup for the Tour de France which begins on July 2.
Results on Monday from the Tour of Switzerland third stage:
1. Peter Sagan, Slovakia, Liquigas-Cannondale, 3 hours, 9 minutes, 47 seconds.
2. Damiano Cunego, Italy, Lampre, same time.
3. Jakob Fuglsang, Denmark, Leopard-Trek, 24 seconds behind.
4. Laurens ten Dam, Netherlands, Rabobank, same time.
5. Giampaolo Caruso, Italy, Katusha, :48.
6. Tejay van Garderen, United States, HTC-Highroad, 1:04.
7. Frank Schleck, Luxembourg, Leopard-Trek, same time.
8. Bauke Mollema, Netherlands, Rabobank, same time.
9. Juan Mauricio Soler, Colombia, Movistar, same time.
10. Francis De Greef, Belgium, Omega Pharma-Lotto, same time.
Overall Standings (After 3 of 9 stages)
1. Damiano Cunego, Italy, Lampre, 7 hours, 43 minutes, 16 seconds.
2. Juan Mauricio Soler, Colombia, Movistar, 54 seconds behind.
3. Bauke Mollema, Netherlands, Rabobank, 1:16.
4. Laurens ten Dam, Netherlands, Rabobank, 1:19.
5. Tejay van Garderen, United States, HTC-Highroad, 1:21.
6. Frank Schleck, Luxembourg, Leopard-Trek, 1:25.
7. Jakob Fuglsang, Denmark, Leopard-Trek, 1:32.
8. Danilo Di Luca, Italy, Katusha, 1:53.
9. Steven Kruijswijk, Netherlands, Rabobank, 2:00.
10. Levi Leipheimer, United States, Team RadioShack, 2:10.