THE Vuelta a Espana is in Andalucia again today, with home favourite Alejandro Valverde third in the overall standings.
Stage four starts in Mairena del Alcor and after 120km of flat riding finishes with a climb up two mountains in Cordoba.
Leading after two stages, Valverde slipped to third in the overall standings after finishing seven seconds behind stage three winner Michael Matthews.
Matthews took the red jersey from the 2009 winner after pipping Irishman Dan Martin in a sprint finish in the 197km race to Arcos de la Frontera.
Valverde now sits 11 seconds off the lead, with race favourite Nairo Quintana four seconds back.
Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez was third on the day and compatriot Haimar Zubeldia sits ninth in the overall standings.
After stage four finishes in Cordoba, the race moves to Ronda and then on to Benalmadena.
Stage three results:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus/Orica) 5:12:14″
2. Daniel Martin (Ire/Garmin) ST
3. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha)
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Belkin)
5. Paul Martens (Ger/Belkin)
6. Cadel Evans (Aus/BMC Racing)
7. Lloyd Mondory (Fra/AG2R)
8. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/FDJ.fr)
9. Daniel Moreno (Spa/Katusha)
10. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky)
Overall classifications after stage three:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus/Orica) 9hours, 27mins, 53secs
2. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +0:04
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +0:11
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) +15″
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Cannondale) +17″
6. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica)
7. George Bennett (NZ/Cannondale) +20″
8. Julian Arredondo (Col/Trek)
9. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa/Trek)
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) +22″
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