With the news that his wife had gone into labour, race leader Robbie Hunter abandoned the Vuelta a Murcia on the Queen stage to attend the child birth. This meant the end of the hopes for an eerily similar finish as the previous two stages. In the end, the main GC contenders shook up the peleton with Denis Menchov, Andreas Kloden and Bradley Wiggins pushing the results. It was however, Aussie Luke Roberts from Team Milram who captured the stage victory today in the final sprint.
With more climbing than the previous two stages, the third stage of the Vuelta had a GC shake-up written all over it. A memorial to Marco Pantani marked the climb of the day as well as an act of solidarity toward Italy after all the drama that ensued with race organization. It was Dutch rider Wouter Poels of the Vacansoleil Team who won the prize.
After some back and forth between Radioshack and Sky, Team Milram moved with Rohregger, Roberts and Dominik Nerz to work for the win and it was Luke Roberts who found himself the beneficiary of the sprinter-less final sprint.
Stage 3 results
1 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram 4:16:47
2 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
3 Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
5 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Radioshack
GC after 3
1 Josep Jufre (Spa) Astana_________12:52:39
2 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram
3 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team HTC – Columbia