The Lampre man came out on top in the 152km stage that began and finished in Villareal, beating out Alessandro Petacchi by a bike's length to capture the lead on GC by two seconds from the Milram sprinter.
Saunier Duval's David De La Fuente along with fellow Spaniards Joseba Zubeldia (Euskaltel) and Jaun Carinera (Andalucia-Cajasur) attacked after 27km and built up a maximum lead of 3:48.
Carinera was dropped after they crossed the third category climb of the Alto de les Useres and by the time the leading pair reached the summit of the first cat Alto del Remolcador after 87km, their advantage was down to under two minutes.
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They were reeled in with 13km to go to set up a third consecutive sprint finish with the 26-year-old claiming his third victory of the year following an earlier success in the second stage of the Mediterranean Tour.
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