French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni ended his unlucky streak by holding on in the dash for the line to win the sixth stage of the Vuelta in San Javier on Thursday.
Compatriot Rudy Molard retained the overall lead, staying with the leading group of 50 as strong crosswinds split the peloton.
The Quickstep team of the so-far dominant sprinter Elia Viviani led entering the last kilometre but the Italian lost ground around the final roundabout.
Bouhani of Cofidis went for the line early and held on as other sprinters gave furious chase. Dutchman Danny Van Poppel of Lotto NL finished second with Viviani, who swerved across the road at high speed in the closing metres as he sought a gap between the riders ahead, was third.