Horner wrests Vuelta a Espana lead from Nibali

The relentless pressure that Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard) has been piling on Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finally saw the veteran American take the Vuelta leader's red jersey on the Alto del Naranco.

Having gone into the stage with a three-second deficit on the Italian, Horner attacked in sight of the finish and came out of it three seconds ahead of Nibali. With one final summit finish on the fearsome Angliru to come on Saturday, 41-year-old Horner has momentum on his side and is the favourite to take overall victory.

The stage was marked by a breakaway but Joaquim Rodriguez's Katusha team did much of the chasing and he paid them back with a powerful attack in the final kilometre and a solo victory.

He was followed in by Diego Ullisi (Lampre-Merida), Dani Moreno (Katusha) and local icon Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), with Horner 14 seconds down in fifth place. Crucially, though, the American was half a dozen seconds clear of Nibali, enough to the overall lead.

While Nibali rode off to his team bus, no longer needed for the podium ceremony, Horner had a huge smile on his face after pulling on the red leader's jersey.

“It’s fantastic to put the red jersey on again, although I wasn’t expecting it until tomorrow. This is a big surprise,” said the RadioShack rider.

“I feel like I’m in good shape and I expect to win this Vuelta. I’ve never climbed the Angliru before but I will look at the climb on the television tonight and we will see how things go. I feel better on the steeper climbs and I hope to be able to keep the jersey. Obviously I prefer the heat too, and if it rains I will try to do the best I can.”

Rodriguez was also celebrating. He is just the second Spanish stage winner in this year's Vuelta.

“I have the stage win, now I will try to get onto the podium,” said Rodríguez, who becomes only the second Spanish stage winner in this race after his Katusha teammate Dani Moreno. “It’s the Angliru, it’s a special climb. Tomorrow everything can change,” he said looking ahead.

Katusha control the racing to set up Rodriguez

The importance of the bonus seconds in the fight between Horner and Nibali and Rodriguez's desire to win a stage meant that the riders who got into the break of the day didn’t gain anything like enough time to stay clear to the finish.

Tam Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen and Argos-Shimano's Georg Preidler were part of a big move that also included David Tanner (Belkin), Francis De Greef (Lotto Belisol), Rafa Valls (Vacansoleil), Dominik Nerz, Ivan Santaromita, Danilo Wyss (all BMC), Beñat Intxausti (Movistar), Paul Voss (NetApp), Nicolas Edet, Nico Sijmens (both Cofidis), Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel), Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida), Christian Meier, Leigh Howard (both Orica-GreenEdge), David Arroyo (Caja Rural), Xabier Zandio (Team Sky), Andriy Grivko (Astana) and Daniele Ratto (Cannondale).

Their maximum advantage over the peloton was only three minutes. Boasson Hagen and Preidler struck out in an attempt to stretch that, but never extended their lead much further as Katusha worked hard to set up 'Purito' Rodriguez.

The race came back together late on, with been Boasson Hagen and Preidler reeled in on the approach to Oviedo, which lies at the foot of the Naranco. There was a flurry of attacks but they were quickly neutralised by Nicolas Roche's Saxo-Tinkoff teammates.

Halfway up the final climb, Roche made the first move from the red jersey group, hitting out for the stage win. But the Irishman could not get clear of the rampaging Rodriguez, who passed him and then sailed away in the final kilometre to claim victory and edge himself a few seconds closer to the race leader.

It was widely suggested that the large number of summit finishes could result in a dull race dominated by one or two riders. Instead, this Vuelta has ebbed and flowed and still hangs in the balance as the riders look ahead towards a finish on Spain’s most notorious mountain.

Horner may now be the favourite to win overall, but when he studies the Angliru on TV or video tonight he may well see what happened to the last rider who rode up the climb in red jersey. Bradley Wiggins lost 1-21 and his overall hopes to stage winner José Cobo.

Horner may have the form to hold off his rivals, but Nibali, Alejandro Valverde and perhaps even Rodríguez are still within striking range.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha4:16:13
2Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:11
3Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
4Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
5Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard0:00:14
6Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
7Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:16
8Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura0:00:20
9Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
10Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:23
11Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team0:00:25
12Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:33
13Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:00:41
14Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
15José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
16Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling0:00:45
17Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:51
18Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard
19Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
20José Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Team NetApp-Endura0:01:02
21Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano0:01:05
22Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
23Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp-Endura
24Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ0:01:29
25Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
26Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
27Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
28Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
29Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:01:42
30Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:01:57
31Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team
32Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
33Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
34Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
35Maciej Paterski (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:02:25
36Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural
37David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural
38Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team0:02:37
39Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack Leopard
40Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida0:02:41
41Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:02:49
42Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp0:03:06
43Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ0:03:18
44Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:03:26
45Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:44
46Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:50
47Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:04:00
48Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:04:19
49Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura0:05:28
50Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:05:29
51Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
52Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
53Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
54Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling0:05:42
55Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
56Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Argos-Shimano
57Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
58Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack Leopard0:06:17
59Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:06:19
60Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:24
61Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:06:50
62Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:07:06
63Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling
64Grégory Rast (Swi) RadioShack Leopard0:09:31
65Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard
66Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
67Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Team NetApp-Endura
68Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
69Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
70Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol
71Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
72Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
73Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural
74Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team
75Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural
76Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Caja Rural
77Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Movistar Team
78Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp
79Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling
80Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ0:11:48
81Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Sky Procycling0:12:29
82Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
83Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano
84Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
85Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
86Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
87Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
88Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:12:52
89Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:14:13
90Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
91Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:14:43
92Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:15:32
93Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
94Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:16:46
95Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:16:50
96Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
97Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:16:55
98Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
99Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida
100Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Caja Rural
101Luca Dodi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:16:57
102Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack Leopard
103Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Katusha
104Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:17:57
105Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
106Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky Procycling0:18:00
107Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha
108Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling
109Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
110Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale
111Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
112Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
113Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge
114Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
115Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
116Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Argos-Shimano
117Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ
118Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
119Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
120Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
121Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol
122Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
123Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team
124Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-Endura
125Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling
126Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
127Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin-Sharp
128Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale Pro Cycling
129Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
130Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Argos-Shimano
131Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Cannondale Pro Cycling
132Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha
133Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
134Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ
135Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team0:18:32
136Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha
137Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:19:18
138Massimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:21:09
139Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural0:21:10
140Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida
141José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team
142Alex Rasmussen (Den) Garmin-Sharp
143Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
144Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:21:13
145David Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
146Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
DNFMaxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNFJohnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
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Sprint 1 - Villaviciosa, km. 103
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling4pts
2Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Argos-Shimano2
3David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural1
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Sprint 2 - El Padrún, km. 160
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling4pts
2Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Argos-Shimano2
3José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team1
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha25pts
2Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida20
3Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha16
4Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi14
5Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard12
6Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team10
7Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida9
8Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura8
9Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team7
10Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff6
11Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team5
12Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale4
13Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team3
14Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi2
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Mountain 1 - Alto de San Emiliano (Cat. 3) km. 148
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling3pts
2Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Argos-Shimano2
3Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1
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Mountain 2 - Alto de la Manzaneda (Cat. 3) km. 169
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Argos-Shimano3pts
2Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step2
3Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team1
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Mountain 3 - Oviedo. Alto del Naranco (Cat. 2) km. 181
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha5pts
2Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida3
3Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha1
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Most combative
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
2Team Netapp - Endura0:00:44
3Movistar Team0:01:09
5Astana Pro Team0:01:39
6Team Saxo - Tinkoff0:01:51
7Radioshack Leopard0:01:59
8Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:03:58
10AG2R La Mondiale0:06:24
11Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:07:12
12Omega Pharma - Quick-Step0:07:25
13Sky Procycling0:10:13
14Team Argos-Shimano0:12:10
15BMC Racing Team0:12:29
17Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:21:03
18Cannondale Pro Cycling0:22:15
19Garmin Sharp0:28:54
20Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team0:31:07
21Lotto Belisol0:35:19
22Orica Greenedge0:39:46
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General classification after stage 19
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard77:56:05
2Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:03
3Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:06
4Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha0:01:57
5Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:03:49
6Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:00
7Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura0:06:38
8Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ0:07:02
9Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:07:45
10Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha0:11:05