Madrid - Australian Michael Matthews sprinted to victory in the third stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Wednesday.
The Orica-GreenEdge rider edged Kevin Reza (Europcar) and Michal Kwiatowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) in a bunch sprint to the line to claim the 194.5km ride from Urdazbi to Vitoria-Gasteiz in just over five hours.
There was no change in the general classification as two-time former Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) maintained his 14 second lead over fellow Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) with Kwiatowski 20 seconds further back in third.
Thursday's fourth stage could prove decisive as the race heads into the mountains with two category one climbs during the 151km ride from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Arrate.
Results from the third stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Wednesday, a 194.5km ride from Urdazbi to Vitoria-Gasteiz:
1. Micahel Matthews (AUS/ORI) 5h 02min 09sec, 2. Kevin Reza (FRA/EUC) same time, 3. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) s.t., 4. Ben Swift (GBR/SKY) s.t., 5. Paul Martens (GER/BKN) s.t., 6. Yukiya Arashiro (JAP/EUC) s.t., 7. Daniele Ratto (ITA/CAN) s.t., 8. Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ/AST) s.t., 9. Enrico Gasparotto (ITA/AST) s.t, 10. Tosh Van der Sande (BEL/LTB) s.t.
16. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) s.t., 17 Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) s.t.
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) 12hr 54min 03sec, 2. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) at 0:14sec, 3. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) 0:34, 4. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 0:36, 5. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 0:36, 6. Jean Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM) 0:36, 7. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 0:36, 8. Yury Trofimov (RUS/KAT) 0:36, 9. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TIN) 0:54, 10. Mikel Landa (ESP/AST) 0:54