Cycling - Rodriguez takes Catalunya lead with stage three win

Joaquim Rodriquez stormed to a stage three win – as well as the top of the General Classification – at the Volta a Catalunya.

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Cycling - Rodriguez takes Catalunya lead with stage three win
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Joaquim 'Purito' Rodríguez (Katusha) y Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo Bank)

The Katusha man held off Sky’s Chris Froome, Movistar’s Nairo Quintana and Tinkoff-Saxo rider Alberto Contador to take the third stage from an elite breakaway group.

Tour de France winner Froome had launched the attack inside the final 500 metres, but could not keep up the pace as Rodriguez surged in front and kept Contador at bay to cross the line first atop La Molina.

Contador crossed second, four seconds back, with Quintana and Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) finishing just ahead of fifth-placed Froome.

Rodriguez said afterward: "Everything went fine the entire day.

"I spoke with my team-mates and begged them to keep control of the break and they did a perfect job.

"At 2k from the finish Dani Moreno did the last effort that was important to make our group smaller and smaller. When Froome attacked, I saw that he missed the power to win. When he sat down in the saddle again, I attacked.

"The last kilometre was marvellous."

Stage three result

1. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha) 4:50:55"

2. Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff - Saxo) +5"

3. Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar) +9"

4. Tejay van Garderen (U.S. / BMC Racing) +11"

5. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) +13"

6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy / AG2R) +14"

7. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands / Belkin)

8. Andrew Talansky (U.S. / Garmin)

9. Romain Bardet (France / AG2R)

10. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland / Lampre)

General Classification after three stages

1. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha) 12:58:00"

2. Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff - Saxo) +5"

3. Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar) +9"

4. Tejay van Garderen (U.S. / BMC Racing) +11"

5. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) +13"

6. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands / Belkin) +14"

7. Romain Bardet (France / AG2R)

8. Andrew Talansky (U.S. / Garmin)

9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy / AG2R)

10. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland / Lampre)

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