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Moreno wins at the End of the World

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Fotoreporter Sirotti

Another day, another uphill finish and the Vuelta is getting their moneys worth out of these opening stages. Today's course took the riders over the menacingly steep Mirador de Èzaro but it came too far out to have a decisive impact. An attack went clear but with plenty of road to the finish Radioshack were able to bring it all together for leader Chris Horner before the final uphill slope to Fisterra way out on the last piece of land at the most westerly point of Spain.

Juan Antonio Flecha made his token hopeless attack before Daniel Moreno shot like fired out of a cannon with about 500 meters to go. Fabian Cancellara was the first to react but his chase started just moments too late to latch on to the charging Katusha lieutenant who was gone for good. It was a perfectly timed attack before the fastest sprinters still in the group had the chance to unleash their power and the wind in the back benefited the attacking Spaniard. The win also gave Moreno the lead in the points competition while Roche defended his KOM jersey on the stage.

Behind him controversy was brewing as the race jury found a small gap in the peloton and since race leader Horner was caught behind that gap he lost enough time to move the red leader's jersey back to Astana's Vincenzo Nibali. It takes a very fine microscope to really see the gap they found and so the decision was surprising, especially to Nibali who had to located and returned by car to the podium presentation as he had already ridden off to the teambus. A pretty sad way to end Horner's reign in red really but Americans seem doomed to be out of luck with the race juries in the GTs this year. On a brighter note, this should get the old guy fired up to reclaim the jersey as soon as possible from it's reluctant bearer.

Tomorrows 174 km stage from Sober to Lago de Sanabria once again serves up plenty of vertical meters of climbing but the climbs should be gentle enough and far enough from the finish to offer the sprinters a chance to finally strut their stuff.

Top 10 Stage 4:

1. ESPMORENO, Daniel 127 KATUSHA TEAM 4h 37' 47''
2. SUICANCELLARA, Fabian 181 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 4h 37' 47'' + 0''
3. AUSMATTHEWS, Michael 178 ORICA GREENEDGE 4h 37' 47'' + 0''
5. NEDMOLLEMA, Bauke 41 BELKIN-PRO CYCLING TEAM 4h 37' 47'' + 0''
6. NORBOASSON HAGEN, Edvald 192 SKY PROCYCLING 4h 37' 47'' + 0''
7. ITANOCENTINI, Rinaldo 19 AG2R LA MONDIALE 4h 37' 47'' + 0''
8. FRABARGUIL, Warren 22 TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 4h 37' 47'' + 0''
9. COLHENAO, Sergio Luis 191 SKY PROCYCLING 4h 37' 47'' + 0''
10. IRLROCHE, Nicolas 205 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 4h 37' 47'' + 0''

General Classification

1. ITANIBALI, Vincenzo 31 ASTANA PRO TEAM 14h 15' 30''
2. USAHORNER, Christopher 184 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 14h 15' 33'' + 3''
3. IRLROCHE, Nicolas 205 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 14h 15' 38'' + 8''
4. ESPZUBELDIA, Haimar 189 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 14h 15' 46'' + 16''
5. ESPVALVERDE, Alejandro 1 MOVISTAR TEAM 14h 15' 51'' + 21''
6. CROKISERLOVSKI, Robert 186 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 14h 15' 56'' + 26''
7. COLURAN, Rigoberto 198 SKY PROCYCLING 14h 15' 58'' + 28''
8. ESPMORENO, Daniel 127 KATUSHA TEAM 14h 16' 01'' + 31''
9. POLMAJKA, Rafal 202 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 14h 16' 08'' + 38''
10. CZEKREUZIGER, Roman 201 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 14h 16' 12'' + 42''