SPANISH duo Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde remain in the hunt for the red jersey after a strong weekend at the Vuelta a Espana.

Race favourite Nairo Quintana claimed the overall lead for the first time after an impressive display on Sunday’s mountainous ninth stage from Carboneras de Guadazon to Estacion Valdelinares. 

Quintana displaces Movistar team-mate Valverde atop the overall standings who now sits eight seconds back from the Colombian. 

Contador has also leaped ahead of Valverde and is now just three seconds off the race lead.

Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez sits 30 seconds off the lead in sixth place and probably has too much to do with two weeks of cycling remaining.  

There is no cycling today as the riders take a much deserved rest day. Tomorrow’s 10th stage is a 36 kilometre time trial in Zaragoza.

Stage nine results:

1. Winner Anacona (Col/Lampre) 4:34:15″

2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana) +45″

3. Damiano Cunego (Ita/Lampre) +50″

4. Javier Moreno (Spa/Movistar) +1:04″

5. Peio Bilbao (Spa/Caja Rural) +1:12″

6. Jerome Coppel (Fra/Cofidis) +1:21″

7. Ryder Hesjedal (Can/Garmin) +1:33″

8. Adam Hansen (Aus/Lotto) +1:45″

9. Bob Jungels (Lux/Trek) +1:49″

10. Fabio Felline (Ita/Trek) +2:08″

Overall classification after stage nine:

1. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) 35:58:05″

2. Alberto Contador (Spa/ Tinkoff-Saxo) +3″

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +8″

4. Winner Anacona (Col/Lampre) +9″

5. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +28″

6. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa/Katusha) +30″

7. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana) +1:06″

8. Robert Gesink (NED/Belkin) +1:19″

9. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) +1:26″

10. Warren Barguil (Fra/Giant)




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