YouTube screengrab Roche (right) crosses the finishing line a second too late to retain his red jersey.
# every second counts
Nicolas Roche denied Vuelta lead by 1 second after thrilling finish
The red jersey now goes to Daniel Moreno but Roche is well in the hunt for podium-topping glory.

NICOLAS ROCHE HAS lost the race lead and the red jersey at Vuelta a Espana but confirmed his contender as a genuine challenger with a performance steeped in determination.

The Saxo-Tinkoff rider finished eight seconds behind local favourite Danie Moreno to drop down to second overall in the General Classification. Moreno leads the way after his stunning win at Valdepeñas de Jaén and is in red due to 10 bonus seconds he picked up on an energy-sapping day in the saddle.

Roche finished just outside the top three so there were no bonus seconds forthcoming. He did extremely well to match the solo darts from his rivals and was well cared for by his Saxo teammates. Vincenzo Nibali is third overall, some 20 seconds back.

Here are the closing stages of a thrilling day’s cycling:

YouTube credit: Tour de France

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