Daniel Moreno (Katusha) won stage nine of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana to move into the overall lead.
The 31-year-old tamed the kilometre-long final climb, which peaked at a gradient of 30 per cent, to win the stage by four seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Katusha team-mate Joaquim Rodriguez.
The victory was Moreno’s second of the race after the 31-year-old previously triumphed on stage four and the Spaniard now holds a one-second advantage over Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) at the top of the general classification.
Team Sky’s Luke Rowe, who is making his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta, was in the day’s five-man break but the group was reeled in with 25km of the 163.7km stage remaining.
Rowe’s team-mate, Edvald Boasson Hagen, then launched an attack close to the top of the category two Alto de los Frailes but failed to open up a big enough gap on the descent and was caught ahead of the final climb.
Moreno was first to show his hand on the super-steed ascent and rode away from his rivals to claim the double prize of a stage win and the leader’s jersey.
Roche went into the day with a 17-second advantage over Moreno and while the Irishman finished within eight seconds of the stage winner in fourth place, Moreno picked up a ten-second time bonus for the victory to relegate the Saxo-Tinkoff rider to second overall.
Vuelta a Espana 2013: stage eight – result
1) Daniel Moreno (SPA) – Katusha – 4:18:57 hours
2) Alejandro Valverde (SPA) – Movistar +4″
3) Joaquim Rodriguez (SPA) – Katusha – same time
4) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – Saxo-Tinkoff +8″
5) Samuel Sanchez (SPA) – Euskaltel-Euskadi +9″
6) Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) – Ag2r La Mondiale – same time
7) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana
8) Philippe Gilbert (BEL) – BMC Racing +13″
9) Warren Barguil (FRA) – Argos-Shimano – same time
10) Igor Anton (SPA) – Euskaltel-Euskadi +15″
1) Daniel Moreno (SPA) – Katusha 35:58:34 hours
2) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – Saxo-Tinkoff +1″
3) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana +20″
4) Alejandro Valverde (Spa) – Movistar +22″
5) Chris Horner (USA) – Radioshack-Leopard +28″
6) Joaquim Rodriguez (SPA) Katusha +56″
7) Leopold Konig (CZE) – NetApp-Endura +1’09”
8) Haimar Zubeldia (SPA) – Radioshack-Leopard +1’10”
9) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Team Sky +1’24”
10) Ivan Santaromita (ITA) – BMC Racing +1’25”