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Roche in red

Irishman Nicolas Roche took over the race leader's red jersey at the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday by finishing third on stage eight, which was won by Czech rider Leopold Konig.

Konig timed his winning burst to perfection on the Alto de Penas Blancas climb to hand Team NetApp-Endura their first victory in a Grand Tour.

He set off in pursuit of leader Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) two kilometres from the end and upped his speed again at the one-kilometre mark after being joined by a group of four including Roche (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) and Italian Ivan Basso (Cannondale Pro Cycling).

Konig got past fading Basque Anton with 500 metres remaining and crossed the line 10 metres clear of charging Spaniard Daniel Moreno (Katusha), with King of the Mountains leader Roche five seconds adrift of the winner in third place.

Stage-two winner Roche took over atop the general classification from Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team), the Irishman establishing a 17-second cushion over American Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard) and Moreno, with Nibali a further second back and Konig 29 seconds off the pace.

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