Michael Matthews wins stage three of the Vuelta a Espana

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Michael Matthews edged out Dan Martin to win stage three of the Vuelta a Espana on Monday.

Matthews will now wear the leader's jersey during stage four tomorrow after collecting bonus seconds on the finish line.

The 10 seconds he picked up at the finish means he takes the red jersey off of Alejandro Valverde with the Spanish rider dropping to third overall, 11 seconds behind Matthews.

Rise to the finish

The Orica-GreenEdge rider beat Martin by a wheels length with Joaquim Rodriguez finishing in third. There was a small rise to the finish on stage three and Matthews used this to his advantage as he just had the legs to beat Martin.

Matthews now leads the Vuelta by four seconds, but with Nairo Quintana in second place he will do well to keep hold of his lead throughout the next three weeks. However this is the second Grand Tour this year that Matthews has worn the leader's jersey in after wearing the pink jersey in the Giro d'Italia for multiple days.

The Australian admitted his team believed he could win the stage today and they gave everything for that to happen.

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Hard work

According to Cycling Weekly, Matthews said: "We had to take control from the start because we had a good chance for me to win a stage. As you could see, none of my teammates were left at the finish because they worked so hard."

Team Sky's Chris Froome finished with the same time as Matthews but crossed the line in a more than respectable tenth place, leaving him 31 seconds down on the race leader.

Stage two winner Nacer Bouhanni finished in eighth place but was unable to sprint past his rivals as he looked to win his second stage in two days.

Orica have two riders in the top 10 so with Matthews in the lead the team may turn to tactics to keep him there in the coming days.

Stage three result

1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, 5:12:14
2 Dan Martin (Ire) Garmin-Sharp, same time
3 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha, st
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin, st
5 Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin, st
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing, st
7 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
8 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra), st
9 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha, st
10 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st

General classification

1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, 9:27:53
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +4sec
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +11
4 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +15
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale, +17
6 Johan Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge, same time
7 George Bennett (NZ) Cannondale, +20
8 Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing, st
9 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing, st
10 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +22

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