Mark Cavendish lost the overall lead in the Tour of California after Tuesday's hilly third stage around San Jose.
The British sprinter, who had won the first two flatter stages, had not been expected to retain the lead and duly finished 21 minutes behind the winner.
Latvia's Toms Skujins, of the Hincapie Racing Team, overcame a minor crash and headwind on the final climb of the day to claim victory and the race lead.
He leads Peter Sagan of the Tinkoff-Saxo team by 32 seconds.
Sagan finished one minute and six seconds behind over the 170km (105 mile) stage for his third straight runners-up spot in the race
"The last half hour was pure pain," Skujins said. "In the headwinds I was just dying," he said. "It is easier to win solo because then you don't have to sprint. I had nothing left."
Stage three result
1. Tom Skujins (Lat/Hincapie) 4hrs 33mins 10secs
2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Tinkoff-Saxo) +1:06
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Etixx) same time
4. Daniel Alexander Jaramillo Diez (Col/Jamis) same time
5. Danilo Wyss (Swi/BMC) +1:09
6. Robert Gesink (Ned/Team LottoNL) same time
7. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col/Team Sky) same time
8. Michael Woods (Can/Optum) same time
9. Lawson Craddock (USA/Team Giant) same time
10. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA/Cannondale-Garmin) same time
1. Tom Skujins (Lat/Hincapie) 14hrs 04min 1sec
2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Tinkoff-Saxo) +0:32
3. Rob Britton (Can/Team SmartStop) +0:43
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra-Etixx) +0:44
5. Daniel Alexander Jaramillo Diez (Col/Jamis) same time