Vuelta 14: Cunego bags another summit

Valverde still in gold

Italian Damiano Cunego claimed his second mountains victory of this year's Tour of Spain when he stamped his climbing prowess over the rain-hit 14th stage held over 157km from Grenada to La Pandera Sunday.

Spanish race leader Alejandro Valverde of Caisse d'Epargne had to fight to keep the gold jersey but emerged defiant after resisting attacks from Samuel Sanchez, Ezequiel Mosquera, Cadel Evans and Robert Gesink on the final day in the high mountains.

As the battle for final race glory went on in his wake, Cunego, Lampre's diminutive but explosive climber, defied the rainy conditions to produce a series of stinging attacks which put paid to his stage rivals' victory hopes.

The former Giro d'Italia champion has already given up on challenging for the overall race lead but showed his class by soloing over the finish line at the 1840 metre high Sierra de la Pandera summit.

Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang of the Saxo Bank team finished second on the stage at 2min 23sec.

It is Cunego's second victory in this year's race after also winning stage eight, the first day in the high mountains at Alto de Aitana.

For a complete report with results and photos, visit

© 2009 AFP

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