Australian Michael Storer claimed his first grand tour stage win on Friday in the seventh stage of the Vuelta a Espana, while Primoz Roglic retained the leader's red jersey.
The 152km route featured six categorised climbs, culminating at Balcon de Alicante.
With three kilometres remaining of the final climb, Team DSM rider Storer pulled away from the lead group of Carlos Verona, Pavel Sivakov and Andreas Kron, holding them off to cross the line first.
"I know what I'm capable of and my next goal was to always win a stage at World Tour level, and now I'm going to have to set myself a new goal," Storer said.
Slovenia's Roglic finished three minutes 33 seconds down on Storer and leads second place Felix Grosschartner by just eight seconds.
Earlier in the day EF Education–Nippo's Hugh Carthy, who finished third in last year's race, and 2009's winner Alejandro Valverde of Movistar - both abandoned the race.
Valverde started the day fourth overall 41 seconds down on Roglic but came off his bike with 43 kilometres to go as he was attacking on the descent of the second category Puerto el Collao, hitting the road hard before sliding off onto gravel.
The 41-year-old received treatment and attempted to continue the stage, helped on by team mates, however soon dismounted and was visibly emotional as he was embraced by his team director upon calling it a day.
Saturday's stage eight should suit the sprinters, with riders racing the 174km from Santa Pola to La Manga del Mar Menor on a flat route.