Sanchez succeeds in Granada

Rest day scheduled for Monday

Samuel Sanchez of Spain, riding for Euskaltel, won the 15th stage of the Tour of Spain on Sunday following a 201.4km ride from Villacarrillo to Granada.

Sanchez, 29, clocked 4hr 45min 59sec to edge out compatriot Manuel Beltran with another Spaniard Carlos Barredo finishing 24sec adrift in third.

Russian Denis Menchov, of the Rabobank team, retained the overall race lead by 2min 01sec ahead of Vladimir Efimkin going into a rest day Monday, both of them crossing the line in a bunch of finishers 41sec off the pace.

With a third category climb to negotiate at Alto de Torre after 95km and a first category at Alto de Monachil 10km from the finish, Sanchez, fifth in the overall standings, said he was conscious of having to ensure he had something left in the tank on the final approach.

"I knew I had to keep a little back. That way you can pull out enough to make a little difference," said the rider from the northern city of Oviedo, who last year bagged stage 13 and now has a dozen career triumphs.

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