Australia's Simon Clarke won the mountainous fourth stage of the Tour of Spain on Tuesday while Spain's Joaquin Rodriguez took the overall leader's red jersey.
Clarke edged ahead of Germany's Tony Martin in the final metres of the 160.6-kilometre run between Barakaldo and the Estacion de Valdezcaray ski resort, which ended in the second summit finish of the race.
The 26-year-old GreenEdge rider completed the stage in four hours, 30 minutes and 26 seconds, with Martin of the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team just two seconds behind.
"It is my first win as a professional, I've been a pro for four years. I have tried so many times, I have so many second and third places, I am just so happy," Clarke said.
Australian cyclist Simon Clarke of the Orica Greenedge team celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the fourth stage of the Vuelta tour of Spain.
Kazakhstan's Assan Bazayev of the Astana Pro Team finished in third, 22 seconds behind the stage winner.
Clarke and Martin were part of a five-strong breakaway group early in a stage, which was marked by tough weather with strong winds and temperatures that soared up to 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit).
The two edged ahead of this group toward the end of the course, setting the stage for the sprint finish.
"It was such a long day with so much wind in the finish. I knew Tony was going to be really strong but I wanted to make it a really hard climb," said Clarke.
"I was really happy when Tony and I could leave the rest behind and then we just worked together. I really backed myself in the finish. Tony is a really good time trialist but I though I could have him in a sprint.
"So I made sure he was in front with the wind and I just left as late as possible," added Clarke.
Rodriguez took the lead from Spain's Alejandro Valverde, who was caught up in a crash involving several cyclists about two hours from the finish that caused him to drop out of the top ten.
Spain's Joaquin Rodriguez of Katusha Team celebrates on the podium with the overall leader's red jersey after the fourth stage of the Vuelta Tour of Spain cycling race in Estacion de Valdezcaray, Spain.
Valverde of Movistar crashed just as a group of riders from Team Sky hit the front of the group in a crosswind section.
The Sky riders controversially continued their quick pace instead of waiting for Valverde to get back on his bike.
"I am angry and disappointed, sportsmanship should come above all else," Valverde told reporters at the end of the race.
"Sky formed an echelon and they're perfectly within their rights to do that. I'm not angry that I lost the lead because of this, but because there was no respect."
The 21-stage race finishes on September 9 in Madrid.
The Vuelta is one of cycling's three 'major tours' along with the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.