Spaniard Dani Moreno claimed stage nine of the Tour of Spain on Sunday and with his solo victory produced a double strike as he climbed to the top of the general classification.
After a year’s absence, the Vuelta returned to Valdepeñas de Jaén which boasts a leg burning 30 degree ascent up ‘the wall’ to the finish line in the centre of the town.
The peloton made their way across 163.7km of rugged but straightforward Andalucian countryside.
Once a solo effort by Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen had been neutralized inside the final two kilometres Moreno attacked.
With 700 metres to go Moreno, who rides with the Russian Katusha team, burst out of the front bunch on the very steep final climb to the line and held on to finish ahead of compatriots Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez.
After taking his second stage win of the race and the valuable time bonuses awarded to the winner, Moreno moved to the top of the leaderboard with Ireland’s Nicolas Roche second one second back while Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali moved up to third at 19 seconds.