Simon Yates lost his overall lead in the Vuelta a Espana, as Alexandre Geniez claimed victory in a chaotic finish to stage 12 at Manon.
AG2R La Mondiale rider Geniez held firm as an early 18-rider breakaway was whittled down to sprint home ahead of Team Sky’s Dylan van Baarle and Mark Padun of Bahrain-Merida.
Spain’s Jesus Herrada did enough to grab the lead in the overall classification, with an advantage of three minutes and 22 seconds over the now second-placed Yates.
Herrada had been part of the initial breakaway but fell away to finish over two minutes behind the leading pack, with the peloton, including Yates, almost 12 minutes back.
Geniez’s win was marred when he swerved to avoid photographers and crashed into a race official after crossing the finish line, bringing down a number of other riders including Van Baarle.
The 181km stage saw a series of attacks from the start until a prominent bunch including the likes of Geniez, Van Baarle and Vincenzo Nibali managed to establish an advantage of over 10 minutes.
A further attack split the leading group, but Geniez and Dylan Teuns (BMC) were among those to haul them in, while Herrada hung in in his bid to claim the red jersey.
Despite sporadically losing touch with the leaders, Geniez and Van Baarle worked themselves back into contention and set up the final sprint in which the Frenchman stole a march on his rivals.
Herrada will take his advantage into the forthcoming stages in the Asturias and Leon mountains, while Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) remains one second behind Yates in third place.
Nicolas Roche slipped three places to 34th overall.
Meanwhile Primoz Roglic took over at the top of the Tour of Britain standings after his LottoNL-Jumbo team won the team time trial in Cumbria.
The Dutch team finished 16 seconds ahead of Quick-Step Floors, with Katusha-Alpecin in third place a further four seconds back.
Paddy Bevin had started the stage in the green jersey, but was forced to relinquish his lead, as his BMC team trailed in sixth place, 40 seconds behind the winners.
Slovenian Roglic, who finished fourth at this year’s Tour de France, had started the day 16 seconds behind Bevin in the overall standings.
The win for Roglic’s team lifts him six seconds clear in the standings ahead of Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, with Bob Jungels a further 10 seconds back.