Orio - Spain's Samuel Sanchez shrugged off his 38 years to win the fourth stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Thursday after a thrilling tussle on the climb to Orio which left Dutchman Wilco Kelderman in the overall lead.
Sanchez resisted a late attack by compatriot and former two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador on the final ascent to take victory for the BMC team on the final climb.
Portugal's Rui Costa of Lampre won a sprint for second ahead of France's Warren Barguil (Giant) and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale) who was fourth.
Mikel Landa of Team Sky was 20th on the punishing run and as a consequence lost the overall lead to Kelderman of the LottoNL-Jumbo team.
Kelderman now has a four-second lead over Colombia's Sergio Henao (Sky), a seven-second advantage over Landa, eight seconds in front of Sanchez and 10 seconds better off than Contador of the FDJ team.
Sanchez, the Tour of the Basque Country winner in 2012, celebrated his eighth stage win on the race.
"It's an important win, I am full of emotion," he told EiTB television. "This shows that we veterans are still here."
Friday's fifth stage is 157km to Mont Arrate and features eight climbs.