Chris Horner stretched his overall race lead after the second place finish in the penultimate stage of the Tour of Spain on Saturday to almost assure himself of his first Grand Tour victory.
The main focus of the 142.2 kilometre mountainous trip to Alto de L´Angliru was on former race leader and pre-tour favourite Vincenzo Nibali and Horner who exchanged blows throughout.
The battle between the race’s top two riders was enthralling.
Nibali attacked four times on the steepest ramps of the final climb but the veteren American fought back each time and with two kilometres to the line he made his own move.
Meanwhile out in front 22-year-old Kenny Elissonde highlighted his potential with a sensational solo victory.
RadioShack’s Horner picked up the pace in his attack and left Nibali trailing in his wake.
He went on to cross the foggy finish line second 28 seconds ahead of Nibali, over whom Horner now holds a 37 second lead overall.
With one easy stage left the 41-year-old is set to become the oldest grand tour winner in history.