Wellens outmanoeuvred Michael Woods on the final bend of the 204 kilometre stage from Lugo to Ourense to take his second victory on this year’s Vuelta.
“It’s not easy to win, I had to really fight to get in the breakaway, and all my companions in the breakaway were really strong riders,” Wellens said.
“The whole day we rode a super good tempo. In the descent we got a way with three, I thought we were going to stay in front but the other three came back. I knew I had to take the last corner in the first position. I felt Woods coming but suddenly the finish line was there and I passed first.”
Roglic and Carapaz came over the line at the same time with the rest of the general classification contenders, including third-placed Hugh Carthy, three minutes 44 seconds behind Wellens.
Roglic, who regained his overall lead with a commanding win in Tuesday’s time trial, has a 39-second advantage over Carapaz with four stages left in the Vuelta.
Thursday and Friday’s stage are also hilly stages more suited to sprinters where Roglic and Carapaz are expected to finish together before doing battle in Saturday’s decisive mountain stage.