Sanchez wins 3rd stage, takes overall Basque lead



EIBAR, Spain (AP) — Spanish rider Samuel Sanchez won the third stage of the Tour of Basque Country on Wednesday to take the overall lead halfway through the 52nd edition of the race.

The Olympic champion finished the 102-mile mountainous leg in 3 hours, 58 minutes, 15 seconds after a cunning attack near the end. Spanish rider Joaquin Rodriguez and American cyclist Christopher Horner finished second and third, respectively, in the same time.

Bauke Molleman of the Netherlands and Damiano Cunego of Italy were among a group of 17 cyclists to finish 12 seconds behind.

Spanish cyclist Jose Joaquin Rojas of Movistar had led after the first two stages but finished more than 16 minutes behind.

Sanchez, of Euskaltel-Euskadi, shares a time of 12:06:06 with Horner and Rodriguez in the overall standings but is ranked first based on stage placings.