Enric Mas (Movistar) claimed the yellow jersey on Stage 3 of the Volta a Valencia after darting clear to win the day.
The front pack was whittled down to three riders before Mas proved too strong for Victor Lafay (Cofidis) and Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic) in the finale.
Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ), leading the race after the first two stages, slipped outside the overall top 10.
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Scotson won the first stage in Ondara but had seen French teammate Arnaud Demare win the previous day’s race.
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Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Mas, and Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) led the bunch at the head of the race as they closed on the final climb in the stage.
The trio were joined by the French ensemble of Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Remy Rochas (Cofidis) and Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic) as Scotson started to drift away, unable to keep pace.
Oliveira launched an attack with 3km of the race left, anticipating the final, toughest kilometre. Positions then swapped quickly as Mas took the lead, followed by Lafay and Gesbert before the finale as the trio opened up a gap.
And with 200m left, Mas darted ahead of the pack to take victory and seize control of the race.
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