(image credit: Petit Brun CC BY-SA 2.0)
It's the third time that Sanchez has won on this climb, which has apparently left him fully aware of what he's doing because although Rodriguez and Horner stayed with him until the end, they found themselves simply unable to get the better of him. There'll be some celebrations throughout Euskal Herria tonight: Sanchez, who now leads the General Classification, may be an Asturian by birth but he leads what is to all intents purposes the Basque national team - and a cat born in a fishmonger's is not a haddock.
Stage preview here. Full results (when available) here.
1. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez Euskaltel-Euskadi 3:58:15
2. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver Katusha ST
3. Chris Horner RadioShack-Nissan ST
4. Bauke Mollema Rabobank +12"
5. Damiano Cunego Lampre-ISD ST (Cyclopunk top tip #2 for the stage)
6. Tony Martin Omega Pharma-Quickstep ST
7. Michele Scarponi Lampre-ISD ST
8. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya Sky ST
9. Robert Kiserlovski Astana ST
10. Lars Petter Nordhaug ST
Birthday boy Thomas Löfkvist (Sky) was 53rd, 1'52" behind Sanchez. Best Brit was Luke Rowe (Sky) in 128th place. Cyclopunk's top tip Gorka Izagirre? 93rd. :-)