Orbea's Ruzafa and Lejarreta take over race lead

Previous leaders Hermida and Näf slowed by back problems

Stage 3 proved a bit more technical and harder than the previous stages and it lead to a change of leadership in the men's category. Ruben Ruzafa and Iñaki Lejarreta (Orbea) won the stage and took over the lead in the men's race while Kristine Nørgaard and Sally Bigham (Topeak-Ergon/Hansens Flodeis) seem invincible in the female category.

Previous race leaders José Antonio Hermida and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida) lost time and slipped to third place overall, finishing about 20 minutes after the stage winners. Näf was having problems with his back after yesterday's stage.

"I made a bad movement on the bike yesterday, and during today's stage, my back just got worse. It inhibited me from pedaling comfortably, so we decided to just concentrate on finishing the stage," said Näf.

Furthermore, a lead group of riders also got lost at one point during the stage, due to a course marking problem that organizers said was out of their control. Some riders lost time, but all got back on course.

The Orbea team, which is getting stronger day by day, took advantage of the circumstances and Lejarreta's good form to escape from the others on the Cerro Muriano downhill. The pair took over the lead and grabbed the stage win despite a painful crash by Lejarreta.

Hermida and Näf decided to quit the race after the stage, citing Näf's back problems

"Yesterday, we were already a little bit conservative as Ralph was suffering... But far from disappearing, they have become worse and started to affect his right leg," said Hermida. "We have had to slow down the pace and even stop a few times; this cost us a lot of minutes in the overall.

"It is a pity, as it is always nice to win, even more in a new race that has attracted people of a very high level. But the most important thing is to take care of the rider's health and Ralph
must get to the World Cups in good shape. A problem like his might not be critical in a two-hour
race, but this race is six demanding days." Hermida vowed to return in 2012.

In the women's race, Noergaard and Bigham took their third consecutive victory, demonstrating their superiority among the women. Spaniards Sandra Santanyes and Isabel Castro (Bicis Esteve) finished second in the stage.

In the mixed category, Cait Elliot & Josh Ibbett (Torq Performance MTB Team) were once again the first ones in the finish line. They were quite far in front of the others in their race, so instead made it a goal to beat the lead women's team, with whom they rode some of the stage.

Mads Boedker & Henrik Cohen (Danish Masters) also returned to the top of the podium in the masters category.

Because of the marking incidents which occured today, the Race Technical Jury made a decision to consider the results for the general classification for stage 3 as of the check point #2 (at 54km). However, stage results will be considered to be as of the finish.

Tomorrow's stage four will take the race to Jaen. It will start from Priego de Córdoba and will pass through a typical olive tree growing area. Racers should reach high speeds on the Via Verde. This fourth stage, the longest of the competition, will end with a spectacular climb to the Jabalcuz mountains, and temperatures are expected to be lower than the previous days.

Full Results

Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruben Ruzafa & Iñaki Lejarreta (Orbea)2:01:31 
2Kristian Hynek & Pavel Boudny (Ceska Sporitelna -Specialized)0:00:59 
3Alejandro Diaz De La Peña & Luis Leao Pinto (Hispano-Luso)0:01:38 
4Martin Horák & Tomá? Vokrouhlík (BMC - Factor)0:02:19 
5Carlos Portilla Herranz & Javier Salamero Subias (OKI-Orbea 1)0:13:02 
6Joep Dohmen & Gijs Dohmen (Dohmenbrothers)0:13:09 
7Alejandro Olid Tellez & Manuel Rojo Nieto (Scott-Sport Bike)0:13:10 
8David Valdivia Martos & Victor Manuel Fernandez Grande (Scott-Sport Bike 1)0:13:16 
9Martin Haugo & Martin Olsen (Team Merida Smart Safety)0:16:24 
10Benjamin Justesen & Johnni Nielsen (Team T-Bikes)0:16:30 
11Jose Antonio Hermida & Ralf Näf (Multivan Merida)0:16:47 
12David Lozano Riba & Ismael Vantura Sanchez (Bicis Esteve 1)0:17:08 
13Francisco Javier Macias Bonaño & Jose Carlos Macias Bonaño (Sportbici-Rotor-San Bartolomew)0:17:18 
14Miguel Angel Florido Marmolejo & Jose Julian Baron Yuste (Clinicas Rincon-Trek Malaga)0:17:52 
15Casper Saltoft & Thomas Bundgaard (Team T-Bikes/Apfosss Racing)0:17:56 
16Manuel Beltran Martinez & Jose Luis Carrasco Gamiz (Sport-Bike)0:19:06 
17Roberto Heras Hernandez & Marcos Serrano (Giant)0:19:22 
18Manuel Jesus Perez Moreno & Lucas Jimenez Valle (Niner C.D.Centauro Negro)0:20:27 
19Antonio Brissos & Valério Ferreira (Bttloulé / Eafit / BPI)0:20:58 
20Lars Granberg & Knut Erik Nesteby (The Outsiders)0:22:06 
21Alejo Fuentes Ojeda & Jesus Morillo Romero (Niner C.D.Centauro Negro)0:23:01 
22Jose Maria Espinar Lopez & Ivan Soladado Jimenez (www.Albayatemania.Com)0:23:08 
23Juan Gomez Rodrigez & Andres Lopez Navarro (Bike Station Marbella 1)0:27:12 
24Gorka Gonzalez Oyarzabal & Julen Berrotaran Macias (Pilates Mens Corpore)0:27:16 
25Manuel Carrelo Magadan & Manuel Luengo Sanchez (Pilla Bikes Ribadeo)0:32:57 
26Pablo López Franco & Ramón Serantes Gómez (Gallaecia)0:33:45 
27Peter Riis Andersen & Allan Carlsen (Cykelmagasinet.dk)0:36:48 
28Jody Burnett & Francisco Javier Garcia Jimenez (Bike Station Marbella)0:37:34 
29Ignacio Miravalles Romero & Victor Rodriguez Rielves (Redciclista - Keway Tubos)0:38:24 
30Carlos Morante Jares & Juan Manuel Pinilla De Miguel (Redciclista)0:38:34 
31Greg Saw & Morten Simonsen (Proteinfabrikken-KTM)0:43:19 
32Carlos Cid Alba & Javier Jimenez Sanchez (Los Cuerpoestufa)0:47:59 
33José Manuel Marín Piña & Francisco Portero Cuéllar (Niner + 1Km, 1?)0:50:24 
34Fernando Castellanos Torres & Matias Enrique Rubio Domingo (Planeta MTB)0:51:18 
35David Garcia Gil & Daniel Becerril Gimeno (Niner Cabestrero Bikes)0:53:24 
36Francisco Jose Cabeza Santamar & Marc Soler Guillén (Olympya Cycles-Villaamaranta)0:56:30 
37Guillem Sanahuja Mila & Jose Luis Arrayas Rull (O2Sports 1)0:58:49 
38Emilio Arenas & Miguel Gil Recio (Morenito Biciletas Pro Team)0:59:02 
39Carlos Jimenez Serrano & Ismael Diaz Ruiz (E-MTB.Com)0:59:04 
40Ivan Muñoz Gallardo & Miguel Angel Rodríguez Bello (Niner-El Centauro Negro)0:59:44 
41Jose Ernesto Ruiz González & Jorge Ponce De León Gómez (Jorgernesto Racing Bike)1:06:54 
42Andreu Fernandez Perez & Javier Almela Martinez (O2Sports)1:09:27 
43Juan Carlos Ojeda Bujan & Raul Salas Pin (Ojepins)1:10:03 
44Felix Garcia Jimenez & Alejandro Pina Juste (Niner Bikes)1:11:07 
45Juan Antonio Marin Reyes & Claudio Cuevas Rojas (Cartaya Ciclos Km)1:14:15 
46Miguel Angel Exposito Espinosa & Jose Manuel Martinez Rodriguez (Andalbike.Com)1:14:44 
47David Campal Carles & David Pla Cuminal (Cat Bike Tordera)1:17:33 
48Oliver Esselborn & Till Schramm (I Am Specializen)1:24:35 
49Jordi Rubio Bonet & Iñaki Martinez Serrano (Olympia-Bicipark)1:34:10 
50Juan Carlos Seoane Pena & Jesus Zapata Cano (Los Calaveras- Team Ciclos)1:34:59 
DNFTomas Muñoz Quesada & Antonio Luis Dominguez Ruinerv (Niner Kanina Bikes)  
Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kristine Nørgaard & Sally Bigham (Topeak-Ergon)2:29:48 
2Sandra Santanyes Murillo & Isabel Castro (Bicis Esteve)0:11:44 
3Jennifer Smith & Kathy Sherwin (Alphine Oryhopedic)0:13:54 
4Ivonne Kraft & Celina Carpinteiro (Bttloulé/Eafit/Bpi 1)0:24:41 
5Natalia Benítez Díaz & Mª José Peralta (Quivir Gsport Y Bicicletas)0:30:12 
6Rute Costa & Ana Rocha (Ouribike)0:30:42 
Mixed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cait Elliot & Josh Ibbett (Torq Performance MTB Team)2:29:52 
2Sigmund Aas & Thrude Karlsen (Team Rapha - Torshov Sport)0:27:46 
3Ludovic Lemaire & Imke Schiersch (Shimano Focus)1:36:47 
Master men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mads Boedker & Henrik Cohen (Danish Masters)2:24:57 
2Gregorio Blanco Anula & Jose Antonio Cañero Delgado (Suraventura)0:05:59 
3Jose Maria Santos Esteban & Sanchez Sanchez (En Bici)0:09:29 
4Manuel Fernandez Bedmar & Juan Antonio Gonzalez-Berengue (Sport Bike)0:10:39 
5Francesc Julià Pascual & Eduardo Blasco Oliete (Alvita, La Marca De Tu)0:13:50 
6Jordi Reixach Salarich & Jaume Borotau Linares (Vilassar Bike)0:15:15 
7Javier Sanchez Sarria & Herbert Neumann (Cannondale - AOS Adventure)0:20:51 
8Alex Clarasó Vallcorba & Xavi Guardia La Torre (El Mundo De La Montain Bike)0:21:45 
9Javier Diaz Nieto & Alberto Martorell Gascón (Doctore Bike II)0:31:48 
10Rafael Romero Illana & Santiago Remartinez Escobar (Niner + Comando 40)0:32:40 
11Javier Pascual Torres & Alfonso Marin Godoy (Redciclista 1)0:33:59 
12Miguel Blanco Embún & Juan Andrés Godoy López (EIC)0:56:24 
13Manuel Rodríguez Catro & Ludwig Rudolf Ortner (Guadaíra Bikes)0:57:07 
14Jorge Gomez Bermudez & Francisco Lara Bermudez (Ojen Bike)1:09:48 
Men general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruben Ruzafa & Iñaki Lejarreta (Orbea)8:48:59 
2Kristian Hynek & Pavel Boudny (Ceska Sporitelna -Specialized)0:02:44 
3Jose Antonio Hermida & Ralf Näf (Multivan Merida)0:08:12 
4Alejandro Diaz De La Peña & Luis Leao Pinto (Hispano-Luso)0:14:22 
5Martin Horák & Tomá? Vokrouhlík (BMC - Factor)0:32:02 
6Francisco Javier Macias Bonaño & Jose Carlos Macias Bonaño (Sportbici-Rotor-San Bartolomew)0:38:23 
7Benjamin Justesen & Johnni Nielsen (Team T-Bikes)0:40:29 
8Manuel Beltran Martinez & Jose Luis Carrasco Gamiz (Sport-Bike)0:46:41 
9Joep Dohmen & Gijs Dohmen (Dohmenbrothers)0:53:20 
10Casper Saltoft & Thomas Bundgaard (Team T-Bikes/Apfosss Racing)0:58:22 
11Carlos Portilla Herranz & Javier Salamero Subias (OKI-Orbea 1)1:01:14 
12David Lozano Riba & Ismael Vantura Sanchez (Bicis Esteve 1)1:01:53 
13Alejandro Olid Tellez & Manuel Rojo Nieto (Scott-Sport Bike)1:02:27 
14Martin Haugo & Martin Olsen (Team Merida Smart Safety)1:10:12 
15David Valdivia Martos & Victor Manuel Fernandez Grande (Scott-Sport Bike 1)1:11:44 
16Miguel Angel Florido Marmolejo & Jose Julian Baron Yuste (Clinicas Rincon-Trek Malaga)1:17:31 
17Jose Maria Espinar Lopez & Ivan Soladado Jimenez (www.Albayatemania.Com)1:33:25 
18Manuel Jesus Perez Moreno & Lucas Jimenez Valle (Niner C.D.Centauro Negro)1:39:19 
19Roberto Heras Hernandez & Marcos Serrano (Giant)1:45:38 
20Peter Riis Andersen & Allan Carlsen (Cykelmagasinet.dk)1:48:57 
21Alejo Fuentes Ojeda & Jesus Morillo Romero (Niner C.D.Centauro Negro)1:49:50 
22Lars Granberg & Knut Erik Nesteby (The Outsiders)1:50:24 
23Jody Burnett & Francisco Javier Garcia Jimenez (Bike Station Marbella)1:56:21 
24Ignacio Miravalles Romero & Victor Rodriguez Rielves (Redciclista - Keway Tubos)2:04:19 
25Antonio Brissos & Valério Ferreira (Bttloulé / Eafit / BPI)2:06:23 
26Greg Saw & Morten Simonsen (Proteinfabrikken-KTM)2:07:39 
27Juan Gomez Rodrigez & Andres Lopez Navarro (Bike Station Marbella 1)2:19:33 
28Pablo López Franco & Ramón Serantes Gómez (Gallaecia)2:22:17 
29Gorka Gonzalez Oyarzabal & Julen Berrotaran Macias (Pilates Mens Corpore)2:28:22 
30Manuel Carrelo Magadan & Manuel Luengo Sanchez (Pilla Bikes Ribadeo)2:40:24 
31Carlos Cid Alba & Javier Jimenez Sanchez (Los Cuerpoestufa)3:06:12 
32David Garcia Gil & Daniel Becerril Gimeno (Niner Cabestrero Bikes)3:06:35 
33Carlos Morante Jares & Juan Manuel Pinilla De Miguel (Redciclista)3:14:45 
34Francisco Jose Cabeza Santamar & Marc Soler Guillén (Olympya Cycles-Villaamaranta)3:33:23 
35José Manuel Marín Piña & Francisco Portero Cuéllar (Niner + 1Km, 1?)3:45:19 
36Carlos Jimenez Serrano & Ismael Diaz Ruiz (E-MTB.Com)4:08:41 
37Guillem Sanahuja Mila & Jose Luis Arrayas Rull (O2Sports 1)4:14:15 
38Emilio Arenas & Miguel Gil Recio (Morenito Biciletas Pro Team)4:23:13 
39Juan Antonio Marin Reyes & Claudio Cuevas Rojas (Cartaya Ciclos Km)4:27:03 
40Jose Ernesto Ruiz González & Jorge Ponce De León Gómez (Jorgernesto Racing Bike)4:27:28 
41Fernando Castellanos Torres & Matias Enrique Rubio Domingo (Planeta MTB)4:28:22 
42Ivan Muñoz Gallardo & Miguel Angel Rodríguez Bello (Niner-El Centauro Negro)4:32:51 
43Juan Carlos Ojeda Bujan & Raul Salas Pin (Ojepins)5:02:25 
44David Campal Carles & David Pla Cuminal (Cat Bike Tordera)5:12:42 
45Andreu Fernandez Perez & Javier Almela Martinez (O2Sports)5:18:56 
46Jordi Rubio Bonet & Iñaki Martinez Serrano (Olympia-Bicipark)5:32:02 
47Felix Garcia Jimenez & Alejandro Pina Juste (Niner Bikes)5:55:21 
48Oliver Esselborn & Till Schramm (I Am Specializen)6:18:41 
49Miguel Angel Exposito Espinosa & Jose Manuel Martinez Rodriguez (Andalbike.Com)6:37:57 
50Juan Carlos Seoane Pena & Jesus Zapata Cano (Los Calaveras- Team Ciclos)6:40:27 
Women general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kristine Nørgaard & Sally Bigham (Topeak-Ergon)10:53:35 
2Jennifer Smith & Kathy Sherwin (Alphine Oryhopedic)1:05:41 
3Sandra Santanyes Murillo & Isabel Castro (Bicis Esteve)1:18:58 
4Ivonne Kraft & Celina Carpinteiro (Bttloulé/Eafit/Bpi 1)1:56:38 
5Rute Costa & Ana Rocha (Ouribike)2:04:48 
6Natalia Benítez Díaz & Mª José Peralta (Quivir Gsport Y Bicicletas)2:45:37 
Mixed general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cait Elliot & Josh Ibbett (Torq Performance MTB Team)11:29:53 
2Sigmund Aas & Thrude Karlsen (Team Rapha - Torshov Sport)2:43:29 
3Ludovic Lemaire & Imke Schiersch (Shimano Focus)3:57:06 
Master general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mads Boedker & Henrik Cohen (Danish Masters)10:40:57 
2Gregorio Blanco Anula & Jose Antonio Cañero Delgado (Suraventura)0:15:16 
3Jose Maria Santos Esteban & Sanchez Sanchez (En Bici)0:40:09 
4Manuel Fernandez Bedmar & Juan Antonio Gonzalez-Berengue (Sport Bike)0:43:27 
5Jordi Reixach Salarich & Jaume Borotau Linares (Vilassar Bike)0:58:30 
6Alex Clarasó Vallcorba & Xavi Guardia La Torre (El Mundo De La Montain Bike)1:32:28 
7Francesc Julià Pascual & Eduardo Blasco Oliete (Alvita, La Marca De Tu)1:40:56 
8Javier Sanchez Sarria & Herbert Neumann (Cannondale - AOS Adventure)1:43:17 
9Javier Pascual Torres & Alfonso Marin Godoy (Redciclista 1)2:23:34 
10Rafael Romero Illana & Santiago Remartinez Escobar (Niner + Comando 40)2:38:14 
11Manuel Rodríguez Catro & Ludwig Rudolf Ortner (Guadaíra Bikes)3:13:18 
12Javier Diaz Nieto & Alberto Martorell Gascón (Doctore Bike II)3:26:23 
13Miguel Blanco Embún & Juan Andrés Godoy López (EIC)4:19:12 
14Jorge Gomez Bermudez & Francisco Lara Bermudez (Ojen Bike)4:59:04 

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