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Michael Matthews won stage 3 of the Vuelta al País Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) Wednesday in Vitoria-Gastiez, Spain. Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) made use of a solid leadout by teammate Simon Gerrans on the uphill sprint to close out the 194-kilometer leg from Urdazubi-Urdax.
Kevin Reza (Europcar) was second and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was third.
“I had to trust ‘Gerro’s’ positioning and timing,” Matthews said in a press release. “He’s done this finish a lot of times. He hit out around the last round-about, which came at 500 meters. He dropped me off at 180 meters, and all I had to was put out as much power as I could until I hit the finish line.”
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished in the peloton to defend his overall lead with three stages remaining. The Spaniard leads Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) by 14 seconds.
The Vuelta al País Vasco continues Thursday with the fourth stage, from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Arrate (Eibar). The 151km leg includes five climbs rated in the first or second categories, including the Cat. 1 Alto de Usartza, which tops out 2km from the finish.