Cycling: Lopez prevails in gruelling stage

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The Independent Online

David Lopez emerged from the mountains of Alicante to claim victory on stage nine of the Tour of Spain. Lopez broke clear going into the final three kilometres of a gruelling day's riding, eventually enjoying a comfortable margin of victory over Roman Kreuziger and Giampaolo Caruso.

Jean-Christophe Peraud crossed the line 54 seconds after the leaders. Peraud had been part of an early three-man breakaway in the 188km stage while Lopez hung back.

But he and others soon joined the lead group, which swelled to 15, and Peraud was looking good to take the overall lead as they jumped more than nine minutes ahead, erasing his 6:59 deficit to Igor Anton who was back in the peloton. However, the peloton eventually reined them in, to the extent that Peraud remains 52 seconds adrift in fifth place.

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