Beijing - Veteran American Tyler Farrar has won the third stage of the Tour of Beijing on Sunday as full competition resumed a day after stage two was slashed because of heavy air pollution.
As the longest stage of the event, day three offers tricky climbs followed by rapid descents, and Farrar came out of nowhere near the end of the 176km course.
"I had the legs, but there was definitely some luck involved there because it was a hard day and I just barely made it over the last climb and I had a real hard time getting back to the front of the race," he said.
"I think I came out of that last corner really way too far back and I just got lucky that a hole opened up and I was able to go for it."
It was the first win of the season for Farrar of the Garmin-Sharp team, though he has managed some top fives. Beijing is the final WorldTour event of the season.
"It was a long time coming this season. It was a year of seconds and thirds and fourths so to finally win so close... I'm really happy," he said.
Belgium's Philippe Gilbert remained atop the overall standings after winning Saturday's truncated stage two, which was cut by about a quarter as Beijing's notorious pollution soared.
But wind helped disperse smog on the city's outskirts on Sunday, easing conditions for the riders.
"Today was better. We were able to breathe almost normally," said Gilbert, the 2012 world champion.
He added: "It was not an easy day today. But the team controlled well and then at the end we also got help from some sprinter teams."
He was hesitant to predict his fortunes for stage four on Monday, a 157km course which includes a more than 12km climb.
"There will be attacks from everywhere, so we will see," he said. "There's not so many good climbers here, so if I lose the jersey I can also stay in a good position and still have points awarded."
Results from the 176-km third stage of the Tour of Beijing from Yanqing to Qianjiadian Chao Yang Temple on Sunday:
1. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp/USA) 4hr15min46sec
2. Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano/SLO) same time
3. Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-Quick Step/BEL) st
4. Moreno Hofland (Belkin/NED) st
5. Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida/ARG) st
1. Philippe Gilbert (BMC/BEL) 11:7:35
2. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Giant-Shimano/RSA) at 5 secs
3. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Lampre-Merida/POR) 7
4. Daryl Impey (ORICA-GreenEDGE/RSA) 9
5. Jesus Herrada Lopez (Movistar/ESP) 10