Frenchman Kenny Elissonde won the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday, with American Chris Horner finishing second and tightening his grip on overall victory.

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche finished 18th to remain in fifth position overall.

Horner dropped his most persistent rival, Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, with a little over one kilometre to go to the race's final summit finish, the Alto de l'Angliru.

Spain's Alejandro Valverde was third in the 142.2-km stage from Aviles.

With one easy, 109.6-km stage from Leganes to Madrid remaining on Sunday, Horner looks all but certain to win the race outright, with Nibali second overall and Valverde third.