Arturo Rodriguez/AP/Press Association Images

La Vuelta: Martin claims his maiden Grand Tour win

There was Grand Tour joy for Irish rider Daniel Martin on day nine of the Vuelta a Espana.

IRELAND’S DANIEL MARTIN (Garmin-Cervelo) continued his wonderful showing at this year’s Vuelta a Espana this afternoon, holding off Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) in a sprint finish to win his first ever Grand Tour stage.

The win sees Martin jump up to 12th place in the general classification standings, just 55 seconds behind race leader Mollema whose performance on today’s 183km stage was good enough to wrest the red jersey from Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha).

The 24-year-old Dutch rider now leads by just one second from Rodriguez, who finished the day 50 seconds back in 25th place.

Ireland’s other representative, Nicolas Roche (A2GR-La Mondiale), had to battle hard to finish in 19th after he was dropped by the breakaway on the final ascent to Sierra de Bejar.

That placing was good enough to see Roche break into the top 20 in the G.C standings. He currently lies 19th overall, two minutes and five seconds behind Mollema.

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