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Vuelta Stage 3: Chris Horner becomes oldest Grand Tour stage winner, and oldest man to lead one of them

RadioShack -Leopard rider attacks on final climb and stays clear as Valverde leads bunch home behind him

Chris Horner of RadioShack-Leopard is the new leader of the Vuelta a Espana, attacking towards the end of today's final, 4 kilometre Category 3 climb to the finish at Mirador de Lobeira. The 41-year-old from Oregon - the oldest rider in this year's race - also takes the overall lead.

Horner, who turns 42 on 23 October, is also the oldest rider ever to have won a stage in any of cycling's three Grand Tours - the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, or the Vuelta - and to lead the General Classification in one of them.

Launching his attack from 1 kilometre out, Horner held on to take the stage win by 3 seconds from a select chasing group led home by Movistar's Alejandro Valverde and Katusha's Joaquin Rodriguez.

On a day when crashes and the wind blowing in off the sea combined with a twisting parcours put some riders into difficulty, with a split occuring at one point as Movistar upped the gas, the race was back together as the peloton came through the coastal town of Vilagarcía de Arousa ahead of that final climb.

Orica-GreenEdge and Vacansoleil-DCM were forcing the pace, the peloton becoming strung out behind them as they began the ascent, with the latter team's Juan Antonio Flecha managing to break clear.

Then, Italian champion Ivan Santaromita of BMC Racing made his move with 2.5 kilometres left, and had a lead of around 10 seconds as he went under the flamme rouge and into the final kilometre.

With the big names watching each other closely, the oldest man in the race, RadioShack-Nissan's Horner, seized his opportunity and attacked as he too went under the flamme rouge.

The bunch led by Valverde was closing him down quickly, but Horner held on to win by 3 seconds.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Leviathan | 10 years ago

Loved to read Cliff Young's wiki, lucky he didn't find out they built a Westfield in Stratford.

Meanwhile no doping references in Chris Horner's wiki. Why is everyone being so obtuse? Obviously I don't know enough about pro cycling to know who used to be on who's old teams. Ignorance is bliss.

Paul J | 10 years ago

Great to see the new generation in cycling proving that you can win clean!

Some Fella | 10 years ago

Nothing suspicious about this win at all.

Ghedebrav | 10 years ago

Bless the guy, he actually looks like he's about to turn 52 (at which point presumably he'll grow a goatee and start brewing illicit blue EPO in an RV somewhere in New Mexico).

tyhsia | 10 years ago

Got to love it!
Horner is the man, take the stage win and the red jersey after laying off racing for 4 months and needing knee surgery after the mad Tirreno Adriatico.
Will someone give this man a contract for next year, or two!

TeamCC | 10 years ago

Incredible win for Horner. I'm sure he will be getting the most thorough of tests for cheating. Maybe his experience helped him with all the obstacles that the riders faced. My favorite age defying win has to be

jarredscycling | 10 years ago

Pretty darn impressive for a 42 year old!!!!

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