Claus Moller, of Denmark, won the 15th stage of the Tour of Spain yesterday, powering up a gruelling 9km climb to the mountain-top finish line. No one dared stay with Moller as he took off on his own into the ascent at the end of the 207.2km ride between Valencia and Alto de Aitana, the longest stage of this year's Tour.
Moller, riding for the Milaneza team, crossed the line in 5 hours 44 minutes 18 seconds, 15secs in front of a group led by Italy's Giberto Simoni.
Spain's Oscar Sevilla finished eighth to retain his gold jersey as the overall race leader. However, Sevilla had his lead cut by to 16 seconds by Spain's second-placed Angel Casero. Sevilla now leads by 25 secs.
The American rider Levi Leipheimer slipped back to sixth overall, after coming in 19th, 2:26 minutes behind Moller. But the US Postal team member is still the leading non-Spanish rider.
Leipheimer was in the leading group until seven kilometers to go, when the climbers started to show their skills. However, Leipheimer did not suffer as much as Spain's Jose Maria Jimeñez, three times the Tour of Spain "King of the Mountains" and winner of three stages in the last eight days.
All the energy drained from Jimeñez with 15km to go and he finished 12 minutes behind.
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