Dan Martin wins Vuelta stage
La Covatilla - Irish rider Daniel Martin won his first stage on a major tour on Sunday when he emerged victorious in the ninth stage of the Tour of Spain, a 183km ride from Villacastin.
Dutchman Bauke Mollema finished second on the stage but had the huge consolation of taking the overall leader's red jersey from Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, who had only regained the red jersey after Saturday's stage, is a second behind the young Dutchman while Italy's defending champion Vincenzo Nibali is third nine seconds adrift.
Martin shone on the demanding final climb up La Covatilla and deservedly edged out Mollema in a sprint finish while Spaniard Juan Jose Cobo was third.
The climb, though, caused havoc among some of the overall leaders with Italian Michele Scarponi paying for his initial efforts at the bottom of the mountain, while Rodriguez also suffered.
Prior to the final ascent the stage had been livened up by a four-man breakaway.
However, they were reeled in by the peloton with the final member of the quartet Germany's Sebastian Lang being caught at the bottom of La Covatilla.
Monday's 10th stage is a 47km time trial round Salamanca, before a rest day on Tuesday.
Results of the ninth stage of the Tour of Spain on Sunday, a 183km ride from Villacastin:
1. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) 4hr 52min 14sec
2. Bauke Mollema (NED/RAB) at 0:00.
3. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (ESP/GEO) 0:03.
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 0:04.
5. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:07.
6. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/LIQ) 0:11.
7. Rein Taaramae (EST/COF) 0:12.
8. Denis Menchov (RUS/GEO) 0:12.
9. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/RSH) 0:12.
10. Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE/AST) 0:12.
11. Wout Poels (NED/VAC) 0:15.
12. Kevin Seeldraeyers (BEL/QST) 0:19.
13. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/OLO) 0:19.
14. Sergio Pardilla (ESP/MOV) 0:38.
15. Chris Anker Srensen (DEN/SAX) 0:41.
16. Mikel Nieve (ESP/EUS) 0:41.
17. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/RAB) 0:41.
18. Maxime Monfort (BEL/LEO) 0:41.
19. Nicolas Roche (IRL/ALM) 0:47.
20. Serguey Lagutin (UZB/VAC) 0:50.
Overall standings after the 9th stage:
1. Bauke Mollema (NED/RAB) 37hr 11min 17sec
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) at 0:01sec
3. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/LIQ) 0:09.
4. Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE/AST) 0:18.
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/OLO) 0:27.
6. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 0:35.
7. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/LEO) 0:37.
8. Kevin Seeldraeyers (BEL/QST) 0:42.
9. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/RSH) 0:42.
10. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (ESP/GEO) 0:46.
11. Maxime Monfort (BEL/LEO) 0:55.
12. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) 0:55.
13. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 1min 00sec
14. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 1:03.
15. Mikel Nieve (ESP/EUS) 1:08.
16. Marzio Bruseghin (ITA/MOV) 1:12.
17. Sergio Pardilla (ESP/MOV) 1:17.
18. Michele Scarponi (ITA/LAM) 1:54.
19. Nicolas Roche (IRL/ALM) 2:05.
20. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/RSH) 2:10.