Photo finish for bunch sprint on stage three of the Ruta del Sol as Alejandro Valverde keeps lead

Gerald Ciolek (MTN Qhubeka) took a narrow win on stage three of the Ruta del Sol, much to the bemusement of Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) who celebrated his ‘victory’ a touch too early.

After some deliberation by the race commissaires, it was 2013 Milan-San Remo champion Ciolek who was handed the stage win, with Jans in second. Moreno Hofland (Belkin) placed third.

On a day for the sprinters, overall leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was untroubled at the top of the general classification. With just Sunday’s stage remaining, there appears to be little Valverde’s rivals can now do to prevent him from taking his third consecutive overall win of the race.

Results
Ruta del Sol, Vuelta a Andalucía 2014, stage three: Sanlúcar La Mayor to Sevilla, 182km
1. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN Qhubeka

2. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
3. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin
4. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Shimano
5. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen

Overall classification after stage three
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar in 14-37-51

2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 20 secs
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural at 22 sces
4. Jon Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 33 secs
5. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 43 secs

Bradley Wiggins in action on Stage 3 of the 2014 Ruta del Sol

Bradley Wiggins in action on Stage 3 of the 2014 Ruta del Sol

Alejandro Valverde on the podium after retaining his overall lead on Stage 4 of the 2014 Ruta del Sol

Alejandro Valverde on the podium after retaining his overall lead on Stage 4 of the 2014 Ruta del Sol