Briton Simon Yates lost the Vuelta a Espana leader’s jersey to Jesus Herrada as Alexandre Geniez emerged from a breakaway group to win stage 12.
Yates and his Mitchelton-Scott team did not react as Spanish Cofidis rider Herrada opened up a large gap in a big breakaway on Thursday’s 177.5km ride.
Herrada began the day five minutes and 45 seconds behind Yates but now has a three-minute, 22-second lead over him.
Yates finished in the group containing Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.
The 26-year-old is now second overall, still with a one-second advantage over Valverde, who is third, and a 14-second gap on Quintana in fourth.
Herrada, 28, finished in a group left back as the breakaway split in the stage’s latter stages, two minutes and 33 seconds behind the winner.
French AG2R La Mondiale rider Geniez held off Team Sky’s Dylan van Baarle in a sprint to the line on the Galician coast after a route, from Mondonedo to Faro de Estaca de Bares, that featured two category-three climbs.
Friday’s stage 13 takes the riders across a 174.8km route that features one category-three climb and two category-one climbs, including a summit finish on the Alto de la Camperona.
Stage 12 result:
1. Alexandre Geniez (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) 4hrs 52mins 38secs
2. Dylan van Baarle (Ned/Team Sky) Same time
3. Mark Padun (Ukr/Bahrain-Merida)
4. Dylan Teuns (Bel/BMC Racing Team)
5. Victor Campenaerts (Bel/Lotto Soudal) +2secs
1. Jesus Herrada (Spa/Cofidis) 50hrs 28mins 56secs
2. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +3mins 22secs
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +3mins 23secs
4. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +3mins 36secs
5. Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida) +3mins 39secs