Tondo wins Catalunya stage 3 as Rodriguez takes lead
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tondo wins Catalunya stage 3 as Rodriguez takes lead

by Ben Atkins at 12:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Volta a Catalunya

Xavier Tondo (Cervélo TestTeam) won the third stage of the Volta a Catalunya between La Vall d'en Bas and La Seu d'Urgell. He beat Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) in a two-up sprint after the pair escaped on the final climb of the stage; Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne) was third, 48 seconds back.

The first hilly stage of this year’s Volta saw a number of attacks, with the most notable early break from Tondo himself, alongside Remy Di Gregario (Française des Jeux) and Robert Kiserlovski (Liquigas-Doimo). The threesome wasn’t to last long though and was soon caught; leading to an escape from 13 riders, including Michel Kreder (Garmin-Transitions) and Addy Engels (Quick Step).

After the big climb of the day, the Alto de Pedraforca, there were just five riders up front: Gorazd Stangelj (Astana), Matteo Bono (Lampre-Farnese Vini), Cyril Dessel (AG2R-La Mondiale), David Gutiérrez (Footon-Servetto) and Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux). Work from the RadioShack and Katusha teams managed to reduce the gap though, giving Tondo and Rodriguez their cue to attack.

On the final classified climb of the day, the Alto de la Jose del Cadí with more than 50km to go, the pair escaped with Oscar Pereiro (Astana); the 2006 Tour de France winner was unable to match the pace though and dropped back.

Sanchez managed to escape in the closing kilometres, but left it too late to catch Tondo and Rodriguez, and the Cervélo rider easily won the sprint. Rodriguez has the consolation of taking over the overall lead from stage one winner Paul Voss (Milram).

Result stage 3
1. Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam
2. Joaquim Rodríguez (Spa) Katusha
3. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne @ 48s
4. Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux @ 1’20”
5. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Transitions
6. Nicolas Roche (Ire) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank
8. Aitor Pérez (Spa) Footon-Servetto
9. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana
10. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis

Standings after stage 3
1. Joaquim Rodríguez (Spa) Team Katusha
2. Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam @ 10s
3. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne @ 48s


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