Vuelta a Espana stage 3: Mader maintains top 20 on GC

Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) won stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana, winning an uphill sprint from a select group of GC favourites.

Stage 3 of La Vuelta a Espana was yet another tough climbing day with the finish being perched up at the top of the category 1 La Laguna Negra climb.

There was some thought at the beginning of the day that a break might have a chance to stay away today but it quickly became clear when only 5 riders were allowed up the road, and kept on a short leash, that the GC riders would be sprinting up the final climb to take the spoils.

For NTT Pro Cycling, our hopes of infiltrating a larger break away were obviously dashed but looking after Gino Mader was still a major priority of the team.

The experienced trio of Enrico Gasparotto, Michael Valgren and Carlos Barbero kept the our young Swiss climber up near the front of the main group at all key moments of the race.

When the race hit the final climb, Mader would match the favourites as long as he could until eventually becoming detached from the leaders. He would cross the line 21st on the stage, just 55 seconds down on the stage winner, and kept his 18th position on the overall GC.