Spain’s Juan Jose Cobo proved his climbing worth on Sunday by winning the gruelling stage 15 of the Tour of Spain and with it inherited the leader’s red jersey.
At 144 kilometres the day’s ride was the shortest of this year’s edition but it certainly wouldn’t have felt like it for the peloton who had to negotiate a final ascent up the mythical hors category Angliru climb.
Following two tough days in the saddle the most brutal stage of the lot claimed its victims with former leader Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky cracking in the final three kilometres.
Geox rider Cobo, meanwhile, showed no signs of waning as he powered up the summit finish to claim a remarkable triumph – turning the Veulta on its head.
Second, at 48 seconds was Dutchman Walter Poels of the Vaconsoleil team with Britain’s Chris Froome of Sky in third.
Wiggins stuttered across the line in fifth place one minute and 21 seconds back.
As a result the Brit slipped down to third overall 46 seconds behind new leader Cobo. Froome is second at 20 seconds with six stages remaining.