Chris Froome steps up Vuelta a Espana hunt in Eibar
Britain's Chris Froome climbed to fourth in the Vuelta a Espana after a third-place finish behind new leader Alejandro Valverde on stage three.
Froome, runner-up in the Tour de France and a bronze-medal winner in the London 2012 time trial, beat Spaniard Alberto Contador into fourth in a photo finish.
Valverde has a 20-second lead over Team Sky rider Froome having taken over from fellow Spaniard Jonathan Castroviejo at the top of the overall standings.
The race ends in Madrid on 9 September.
The 155.3km mountainous stage between Oyon and Eibar was the first to seriously test the climbing credentials of the general classification contenders.
After a breakaway group that included the Belgian Philippe Gilbert had been reeled back from a four-minute lead, a thrilling climax unfolded over the final 10 kilometres.
Contador, who is returning to action after being stripped of a third Tour de France title and receiving a two-year backdated ban for doping, repeatedly attacked in the closing stages.
However his compatriot Valverde, second-placed Joaquim Rodriguez and Froome repelled him on each occasion to keep the red jersey out of his clutches and fill the first three finishing spots.
Stage Three results:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 3:49:37"
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha)
3. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky)
4. Alberto Contador (Spa/Saxo Bank)
5. Daniel Moreno (Spa/Katusha) +6"
General classification standings:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/ Movistar) 8:46:56"
2. Benat Intxausti (Spa/ Movistar) +18"
3. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa/ Katusha) +19"
4. Chris Froome (GB/ Team Sky) +20"
5. Alberto Contador (Spa/ Saxo Bank) +24"
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned/ Rabobank) +28"
7. Robert Gesink (Ned/Rabobank)
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col/ Team Sky) +30"
9. Daniel Moreno (Spa/ Katusha) +33"
10. Igor Anton (Spa/Euskaltel) +46"