Dumbria, Spain, Aug 30, 2012 (AFP) – Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez tightened
his grip at the top of the Tour of Spain’s overall standings Thursday after he
won the 12th stage, beating Alberto Contador in a summit finish.
The two riders distanced themselves from the rest of the peloton near the
end of the 190.5-kilometre (118-mile) rise along the coast of Galicia in
northwestern Spain between Vilagarcia de Arousa and Dumbria.
Rodriguez trailed right behind fellow Spaniard Contador at the start of the
final climb of the run which featured pitches of 30 percent, but in the final
200 metres attacked and was the first to cross the finish line.
The 33-year-old Katusha rider completed the stage in four hours, 24 minutes
and 32 seconds, eight seconds ahead of 2008 Tour of Spain winner Contador, who
is back after a two-year drugs ban.
“When I saw Alberto follow my attack, I thought: ‘Be careful”. I had slowed
down a bit because I know the final section would be the hardest,” said
Spain’s Alejandro Valverde finished the stage in third place, 13 seconds
behind the leader.
Rodriguez led Contador by one second in the general classification before
the start of the 12th stage, and he extended his lead by 12 seconds with his
“I feel good, I recover quickly. A 13 second lead is very little over a
rider like Alberto Contador, who on a good day leaves his rivals in the dust.
But I am going to stay ahead of him for as long as I can,” Rodriguez said.
Britain’s Christopher Froome was not able to respond when Rodriguez and
Contador broke away from the rest of the peloton at the start of the final
The Sky Team rider lost serious ground, finishing the stage in fifth place
to leave him in third in the overall standings, 51 seconds behind Rodriguez.
Friday’s 13th stage takes the Tour peloton on a 172.8-kilometre ride from
Santiago de Compostela to Ferrol. The race finishes on September 9 in Madrid.
Leading riders in the 12th stage of the Tour of Spain, a 190.5km ride from Vilagarcia de Arousa to
Mirador de Ezaro on Thursday:
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 4h24min 32sec
2. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) at 0:08s
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:13.
4. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 0:20.
5. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:23.
6. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 0:23.
7. Igor Anton (ESP/EUS) 0:27.
8. Nicolas Roche (IRL/ALM) 0:31.
9. Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL/LAM) 0:33.
10. Gorka Verdugo (ESP/EUS) 0:36.
11. Sergio Henao (COL/SKY) 0:36.
12. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA/ALM) 0:36.
13. Paolo Tiralongo (ITA/AST) 0:39.
14. Bauke Mollema (NED/RAB) 0:39.
15. Eros Capecchi (ITA/LIQ) 0:39.
16. Benat Intxausti (ESP/MOV) 0:43.
17. Laurens ten Dam (NED/RAB) 0:44.
18. Maxime Monfort (BEL/RSH) 0:47.
19. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 0:52.
20. Winner Anacona (COL/LAM) 0:52.
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 44h50min 35sec
2. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) at 0:13.
3. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:51.
4. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 1:20.
5. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 2:59.
6. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) 3:29.
7. Nicolas Roche (IRL/ALM) 4:22.
8. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 5:17.
9. Laurens ten Dam (NED/RAB) 5:18.
10. Bauke Mollema (NED/RAB) 6:01.
11. Igor Anton (ESP/EUS) 6:08.
12. Winner Anacona (COL/LAM) 6:35.
13. Eros Capecchi (ITA/LIQ) 6:47.
14. Benat Intxausti (ESP/MOV) 6:51.
15. Maxime Monfort (BEL/RSH) 6:55.
16. Tomasz Marczynski (POL/VAC) 7:01.
17. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA/ALM) 7:04.
18. Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL/LAM) 7:10.
19. Gorka Verdugo (ESP/EUS) 8:13.
20. Bart De Clercq (BEL/LTB) 8:25.