Monday, September 2, 2013
Horner of US wins Vuelta stage to take lead
Updates with quotes, details
ALTO HAZALLANAS, Spain -- Christopher Horner of the United States won the 10th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Monday to take the overall lead for a second time.
The 41-year-old RadioShack-Leopard rider also won the third stage. Organizers said he became the oldest rider to earn a stage victory in one of cycling's three grand tours.
Horner broke away on the steep, zigzagging ascent to the Alto Hazallanas peak at the end of 116-mile mountainous ride from southern Andalucia. He won in 4 hours, 30 minutes, 22 seconds.
Vincenzo Nibali pursued Horner but was unable to catch him. He finished 48 seconds behind in second, with Spain's Alejandro Valverde leading a small pack that was 62 seconds back.
"This race was a lot of work for me," Horner said. "When Nibali began to accelerate on the final climb I thought to myself it was the moment for me to attack and maybe win the race, which I did."
Horner also won the third stage of the Vuelta, with race organizers saying he became the oldest rider to earn a stage victory in one of cycling's three grand tours -- which also include the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia.
"It was a very hard stage because it was so hot at the beginning of the race," Nibali said. "Later, I had Horner ahead of me with close to a 40-second lead and it was too difficult to catch him. But it's fine like this because there is still a lot of road ahead and tomorrow is a rest day."
Horner had predicted that he would attack toward the end to try and reclaim the overall lead, and he had placed himself well within the leading pack after the tough category 1 climb up Altos de Monachil, a 4,806 feet ascent, about 17 miles from the finish line.
The race resumes on Wednesday with a 24 mile time trial in and around the central city of Tarazona.