(CNN) -- Dutchman Lars Boom capped a superb solo ride with victory in the 15th stage of the Vuelta Espana, a 167.7km ride between Jaen and Cordoba on Monday.
Boom crosses the line alone to secure victory in the 15th stage of the Vuelta Espana.
The 23-year-old Rabobank rider broke away from the rest of the peloton on the second of two trips up the category two climb of Alto de San Jeronimo to cross the line more than 90 seconds ahead of nearest rival, David Herrero of Xacobeo Galicia.
Dominik Roels of Milram came in third in the stage, which offered a bit of a respite to riders following three consecutive mountain top finishes.
The main group of race leader Alejandro Valverde crossed the line a massive 25 minutes later and the Caisse d'Epargne rider retained his gold jersey with a 31-second advantage over main rival Dutchman Robert Gesink, Boom's teammate.
Spain's Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez, of Euskaltel, is third overall at 1:10 with Italian Ivan Basso (Liquigas) fourth at 1:28 and Australian Cadel Evans of Silence-lotto fifth at 1:51.
Valverde, who has never won a major three-week Tour, is now expected to keep a tight grip on the race until the potential decider -- the penultimate stage time- trial over 26km in Toledo on Saturday.
The Tour resumes on Tuesday with a 170.3km ride from Cordoba to Puertollano that includes two third category climbs early in the route.
The three-week race, the third major Tour of the year after the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia, wraps up in Madrid on Sunday.