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Horner wins 10th stage of Vuelta, leads overall

September 2, 2013

ALTO HAZALLANAS, Spain (AP) — American veteran Christopher Horner won the 10th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Monday to claim the overall leader’s jersey for a second time in this year’s event.

The 41-year-old RadioShack-Leopard rider broke away on the steep, zigzagging special-category ascent up the Alto Hazallanas peak at the end of grueling 187-kilometer (116-mile) mountainous ride from Torredelcampo in southern Andalucia to win in 4 hours, 30 minutes, 22 seconds.

Vincenzo Nibali took off after Horner but was unable to catch the American, finishing 48 seconds behind in second. Spain’s Alejandro Valverde led a small pack that came 1 minute, 2 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 1,465-meter (4,806 feet) ascent, just 27 kilometers from the finish line.

The race resumes on Wednesday with a 38.8-kilometer (24 mile) time trial in and around the central city of Tarazona.

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