As for the GC, Fernandez is the new race leader by seven seconds over team-mate Valverde, with Froome third at 11 and Chaves and Quintana - both at 17 seconds - completing the top five.
Marín - Mirador de Ézaro
Vuelta a España - 22 August 2016
Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 12:22 on 22 August 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Confirmation of the result...
Fernandez crossed the line 21 seconds down on Geniez ahead of Valverde, Froome and Chaves at 26 and Quintana at 32. Contador was ninth at 54 seconds so will lose more time to his rivals.
Ah, poor Ruben Fernandez... the Movistar rider raises his arms aloft and punches the air as he crosses the line for second place, thinking he's won the stage... luckily for him, he'll have the red jersey and so that celebration won't entirely be in vain.
That's a second Vuelta victory for Geniez, who won a stage in the 2013 race in the Pyrenees.
Victory for Alexandre Geniez of FDF!
Chapeau Chris Froome - he's managed to reel in the Movistar train after there was a lull in proceedings...
Just 300 metres to go for Geniez and his lead is just 20-odd seconds now. Chaves and Quintana lead the chase with Valverde and another Movistar rider...
Pellaud has been caught by the Movistar train and Serry will be next. Can Geniez hold on?
Meanwhile back with the bunch Movistar has blown everything apart and have ridden clear of everyone apart from Chaves and Contador. Froome has been distanced - but then again has everyone else.
Frenchman Alexandre Geniez rides under the 1-to-go banner in the lead after dropping Serry. It's not in the bag, mind. There are still some 30% ramps ahead.
Geniez is out of the saddle while Serry is grimacing as he digs deep... Back with the pack, Movistar lead the peloton onto the climb in pursuit of one rogue Lampre rider.
Sky and Orica-BikeExchange jostle for positions ahead of the climb on the front of the peloton. Meanwhile, with the leaders Pellaud has been dropped by Serry and Geniez.
Here we go - they have just over two minutes as they start the climb, which has been compard to the Mur de Huy. Already one of the motorbikes has come to a standstill...
The final climb is imminent - can these three riders hold on? They have 2:40 to play with... Geniez and Serry are tidy climbers but Pellaud is surely cooked?
Lopez won the Tour of Switzerland earlier this year but he's had no luck in Spain - dropping a chain in the opening TTT and now crashing badly at the worst moment today. He's back on his bike but will lose a heap of time today...
CRASH: A touch of wheels in the peloton brings down a cluster of riders, most notably Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana. The Colombian is making his Grand Tour debut for Astana but that looked nasty and he may have lost a tooth or two.
Team Sky all on the front now as they battle to protect their man Michal Kwiatkowski's red jersey. The gap is down to 3:12 for the three leaders. And here's what the riders have to expect from the heinously steep Mirador de Erazo...
Peter Serry leads the trio through the intermediate sprint. He has a water bottle, I'll have you know - courtesy of the FDJ team car.
Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky is pushing on on this descent - the red jersey opens a small gap ahead of his team-mates as they continue leading the chase.
Chapeau to Pellaud, who has managed to rejoin the leaders Serry and Geniez on the flat approach to the final climb of the Mirador de Erazo. One of these three could well contest for the stage because the peloton is still over three minutes back...
The two leaders have 3:35 over the peloton on this fast descent - a peloton, I hasten to add, which has dropped Tejay Van Garderen of BMC.
Geniez takes maximum points over the summit to ensure he will wear the polka dot jersey tomorrow - job well done for the Frenchman.
Poor Peter Serry - he tries to take on a new water bottle but fumbles it while trying to keep up with Alexandre Geniez...
Yes, Pellaud has been caught and passed by Geniez and Serry. They have about 1.5km to go until the summit.
It's not looking good for Pellaud, who is about to be caught by Geniez and Serry. It was a brave effort but quite a naive move to go so early.
Pellaud is in and out of his saddle on this climb, knowing that if he crosses the summit ahead of the others he'll have a polka dot jersey for his troubles. He has five minutes over the peloton and still over a minute on his pursuers, who have dropped both Smukulis and Arroyo.
Team Sky have taken a step back allowing the LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates of Steven Kruijswijk to come to the front alongside the Movistar machine. They have slashed Pellaud's lead down to 5:25.
Lone leader Simon Pellaud (IAM Cycling) is onto the second categorised climb of the day, the Cat.2 Alto das Paxareiras (9.3km at 5.4%). He has 1:22 on the six chasers: Cousin, Serry, Geniez, Selif, Smukulis and Arroyo.
Simon Pellaud picks up an energy bar from his IAM Cycling team car - he's approaching the second categorised climb with around 1:20 to play with over his pursuers. Back with the pack, it's the Sky team of Chris Froome and race leader Michal Kwiatkowski who are leading the chase.
Pellaud is on the fast descent with a cushion of well over a minute. The chasing riders have split up once again - there is just no cohesion there at the moment. The Swiss dodges manholes as the road flattens out after a roundabout by the coast. He has 6:40 over the main pack, so it's looking good for the youngster.
The six chasing escapees have come together but they trail lone ranger Pellaud by over a minute now as the Swiss approached the summit of this second climb. With IAM Cycling folding at the end of the season, Pellaud is doing a good job putting himself in the shop window out there - leading the stage and, perhaps, in line for the polka dot jersey.
Chris Froome is currently riding off the back of the peloton with Sky team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski, the red jersey. He must have dropped back for a mechanical, a call of nature, or a chat with the team car. No need to be anxious - he'll be able to get back without much ado.
Simon Pellaud is now onto the next, uncategorised, climb, after which there will be a fast descent ahead of the Cat.2 climb which follows. The Swiss lone ranger has yet to be caught by his fellow escapees, with Cousin, Serry and Geniez in pursuit ahead of Selig, Smukulis and Arroyo.
Here's a sneak peak at today's finish on the Mirador de Ezaro from Eurosport anchor Ashley House. It's a 1.8km climb with an average gradient of 13.8% and ramps of 30%. Pretty steep, then.
The gap is up to almost seven minutes for lone leader Simon Pellaud, who has yet to be caught by the other six escapees after breaking clear on that climb.
There was a small crash earlier ahead of the climb, with the likes of Niccolo Bonifazio (Trek-Segafredo) and Paddy Bevin (Cannondale-Drapac) involved. The pack regrouped ahead of the climb and there was no lasting damage.
Yes, the 23-year-old has enough to hold on. IAM Cycling's Pellaud crests the summit in pole position to take the 3pts over the top. This is the 23-year-old's second appearance in the Vuelta after making his debut last year. He'll now no doubt sit up and wait for the others - more hands make light work.
Pellaud is now pedalling squares on the steepest part of the climb as Geniez closes the gap. Can he hold on?
Serry and Geniez manage to bridge the gap just as Pellaud bounds clear again near the summit. The Swiss is determined to get the points for the KOM competition, it seems.
It's all Sky and Movistar on the front of the pack on this narrow ascent, which climbs up through woodland - giving the riders some shade and respite from the heat. The gap is up to 5:30 for the break, which has split in two with a duo riding off in pursuit of the points. It's Jerome Cousin and Simon Pellaud who are trying their luck.
An update on Warren Barguil, who just abandoned: the Frenchman has been suffering from sinusitis since arriving in Spain. After a troubled Tour de France, the Giant-Alpecin rider was hoping to save his season here - in a race where he won two stages back in 2013. Shame to see him go - and that could well be Barguil's season over.
The leaders are onto the first of three categorised climbs, the Cat.3 Alto de Lestaio (8.3km at 5.3%).
The ice packs must be working: Steven Kruijswijk's LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates come to the front of the pack alongside Team Sky. The Movistar team of Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana are there too. The gap is still 5:15 for the seven leaders.
Well, that was short-lived: Frenchman Warren Barguil withdraws from the 2016 Vuelta. We'll have to wait and hear an update from his Giant-Alpecin team to discover just why Barguil has called it a day only on day three...
Some teams with a novel approach to combating the heat... tights filled with ice, anyone?
Through the feedzone they go with Tinkoff picking up their musettes just ahead of Sky. Contador, preserving as much energy as possible, has one of his team-mates to grab his lunch for him. The Spaniard has never lost a Vuelta he has entered - now with three wins in three appearances in his home tour.
Problem for Frenchman Alexandre Geniez, who drops back from the break on a bridge across a wide estuary, with his hand up to issue some aid from his FDJ team car. Not a cloud in the sky today in Galicia as the peloton approach the feedzone.
And here's the break in action over one of the many hills ahead of the three categorised climbs at the end of today's stage.
The average speed after two hours of racing is 43.3kmh with the seven leaders currently 5:05 ahead of the pack, still being marshalled by Team Sky's Christian Knees.
With three categorised climbs on the menu today, we could well have a new blue polka dot jersey later this afternoon. Frenchman Laurent Pichon (FDJ) picked up the 3pts over yesterday's Cat.3 climb and today has a maximum 11 points with two Cat.3 climbs and a Cat.2 peak all coming in the final third.
The advantage for the seven leaders is up to five minutes now as they continue riding in a temperature of more than 30 degrees celsius. Switzerland's Simon Pellaud of IAM Cycling is the virtual red jersey - he was 1:13 down on GC this morning.
Today's finish atop the Mirador de Ézaro is quite familiar for it has been used two times since making it's Vuelta debut in 2012. The now retired Joaquim Rodriguez won then, while Dani Moreno - then of Katusha - won a year later. The climb may just be 1.8km long but it's one of the steepest in Spain - with segments over 30% and an average gradient of 13.8%. In short: we can expect fireworks today and with it a huge shake up in the overall standings.
And it's the Sky team-mates of red jersey Kwiatkowski who front the peloton alongside the Tinkoff team-mates of Alberto Contador, who is already a disappointing 52 seconds down on GC after a bad opening TTT on Saturday. Having crashed out of the Tour de France, Contador is one of the favourites for the overall win here in Spain.
A reminder that it's Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski who wears the red jersey today after finishing fourth yesterday and taking over the race lead from team-mate Peter Kennaugh. The Pole is, however, level on time with the entire top ten - which consists of five Sky and five Movistar riders following their strong showings in the opening team time trial on Sunday.
We pick up our coverage of stage 3 LIVE with 115km remaining and we have a break of seven riders currently four-odd minutes up the road. They are: Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), Pieter Serry (Etixx-Quick Step), Rudiger Selig (Bora-Argon 18), Gatis Smukulis (Katusha), Simon Pellaud (IAM Cycling), Jérôme Cousin (Cofidis) and David Arroyo (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
Yesterday, Belgium's Gianni Meersman claimed the second stage for Etixx-QuickStep from a bunch sprint finish to secure his victory, after jumping out of the slipstream of team-mates Yves Lampaert and Zdenek Stybar.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana - a 176.4km ride from Marin to Dumbria, which culminates with three tricky climbs including the short but pulverisingly steep summit finish on the Mirador de Ezaro.