Los Angeles - France's Remi Cavagna won the Tour of California third stage on Tuesday, powering away from a two-man break to ride solo for 75 kilometres on the way to his second win as a pro.
Deceuninck-QuickStep rider Cavagna, 23, finished 7 minutes, 11 seconds in front of American Ben King (Dimension Data) and third-placed German Simon Geschke (CCC).
The peloton, including overall race leader Tejay van Garderen of the United States, crossed the finish line in Morgan Hill, Calfornia, 7min 47sec behind the winner.
Cavagna and American Alex Hoehn of the USA national team attacked 49 km into the 207 km stage from Stockton.
With no threat to the overall standings - Cavagna was 12 minutes behind van Garderen to start the stage - the pair put themselves as many as nine minutes ahead of the chasing pack.
Cavagna, second in the Tour of Belgium in 2017 and winner of the West Flanders UCI Europe Tour one-day race last year, took advantage of the toughest climb of the day, the hors-categorie Mount Hamilton, to drop Hoehn.
The American was overhauled by Geschke and King with 3.5km to go as Cavagna rode alone to the finish line.
The results left the top 10 in the general classification unchanged, with van Garderen holding a 6 second lead over Ineos rider Gianni Moscon of Italy.
After two days amid the mountains, Wednesday's fourth stage along the Pacific coast between Laguna Seca and Morro Bay should offer the sprinters a chance to shine.
Results on Tuesday in the third stage of the Tour of California cycle race, 207 kilometres from Stockton to Morgan Hill:
1. Remi Cavagna (FRA/DEC) 5HR 44min 22sec, 2. Ben King (USA/TDD) at 7:11, 3. Simon Geschke (GER/CCC) same time, 4. Kasper Asgreen (DEN/DEC) 7:47, 5. Jasper Philipsen (BEL/UAE) s.t., 6. Maximilian Schachmann (GER/BOR) s.t., 7. Nathan Haas (AUS/KAT), 8. Davide Ballerini (ITA/AST) s.t., 9. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/DEC) s.t., 10. Tadej Pogacar (SLO/UAE) s.t.
Overall standings after 3rd stage
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA/EF1) 15:23:28, 2. Gianni Moscon (ITA/INS) at 6sec, 3. Kasper Asgreen (DEN/DEC) 7, 4. Tadej Pogacar (SLO/UAE) 16, 5. Maximilian Schachmann (GER/BOR) 22, 6. Rob Britton (USA/UHC) 33, 7. Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (DEN/AST) s.t., 8. David de la Cruz (ESP/INS), 34, 9. Felix Grosschartner (AUT/BOR) 35, 10. George Bennett (NZL/JUM) 36