American Chris Horner has won the Vuelta a Espana with the rider crossing the line in Madrid to become the oldest winner of the race at 41 years of age.

Horner is eight years older than Tony Rominger was when he won the race in 1994, and five years older than the Tour de France's most senior champion, Firmin Lambot, who triumphed in 1922.

Horner, who rides for the RadioShack team, beat Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali by 37 seconds.

Australian Michael Matthews, of Orica-Greenedge, won the final stage, while Ireland’s Nicolas Roche finished in the pack three seconds behind Matthews which kept Roche in fifth place overall at the end of the Tour.

Along with the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta is one of cycling's prestigious three-week Grand Tours and represents the biggest win of Horner's career.

The veteran Horner, who will turn 42 next month, finished ahead of Italian Nibali in each of the final three mountainous stages before Sunday's 110km (68-mile) flat ride from Leganes to Madrid.

Horner moved 37 seconds ahead of Astana's Nibali by finishing second on the penultimate day at Alto de l'Angliru and maintained that lead on the last stage to secure the red jersey.