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RadioShack -Leopard rider attacks on final climb and stays clear as Valverde leads bunch home behind him

Chris Horner of RadioShack-Leopard is the new leader of the Vuelta a Espana, attacking towards the end of today's final, 4 kilometre Category 3 climb to the finish at Mirador de Lobeira. The 41-year-old from Oregon - the oldest rider in this year's race - also takes the overall lead.

Horner, who turns 42 on 23 October, is also the oldest rider ever to have won a stage in any of cycling's three Grand Tours - the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, or the Vuelta - and to lead the General Classification in one of them.

Launching his attack from 1 kilometre out, Horner held on to take the stage win by 3 seconds from a select chasing group led home by Movistar's Alejandro Valverde and Katusha's Joaquin Rodriguez.

On a day when crashes and the wind blowing in off the sea combined with a twisting parcours put some riders into difficulty, with a split occuring at one point as Movistar upped the gas, the race was back together as the peloton came through the coastal town of Vilagarcía de Arousa ahead of that final climb.

Orica-GreenEdge and Vacansoleil-DCM were forcing the pace, the peloton becoming strung out behind them as they began the ascent, with the latter team's Juan Antonio Flecha managing to break clear.

Then, Italian champion Ivan Santaromita of BMC Racing made his move with 2.5 kilometres left, and had a lead of around 10 seconds as he went under the flamme rouge and into the final kilometre.

With the big names watching each other closely, the oldest man in the race, RadioShack-Nissan's Horner, seized his opportunity and attacked as he too went under the flamme rouge.

The bunch led by Valverde was closing him down quickly, but Horner held on to win by 3 seconds.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

7 comments

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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Pretty darn impressive for a 42 year old!!!!

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TeamCC [146 posts] 2 years ago
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Incredible win for Horner. I'm sure he will be getting the most thorough of tests for cheating. Maybe his experience helped him with all the obstacles that the riders faced. My favorite age defying win has to be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_Young_(athlete)

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tyhsia [6 posts] 2 years ago
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Got to love it!
Horner is the man, take the stage win and the red jersey after laying off racing for 4 months and needing knee surgery after the mad Tirreno Adriatico.
Will someone give this man a contract for next year, or two!

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Ghedebrav [1099 posts] 2 years ago
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Bless the guy, he actually looks like he's about to turn 52 (at which point presumably he'll grow a goatee and start brewing illicit blue EPO in an RV somewhere in New Mexico).

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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Nothing suspicious about this win at all.
Nothing.
 40

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Paul J [865 posts] 2 years ago
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Great to see the new generation in cycling proving that you can win clean!

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Leviathan [1865 posts] 2 years ago
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Loved to read Cliff Young's wiki, lucky he didn't find out they built a Westfield in Stratford.

Meanwhile no doping references in Chris Horner's wiki. Why is everyone being so obtuse? Obviously I don't know enough about pro cycling to know who used to be on who's old teams. Ignorance is bliss.