Italians on top in Spain

Italians Davide Rebellin (Serramenti) and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) took the top two spots in a difficult, mountains stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia into Benahavís on Wednesday. The two were challenged by Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto), who took third on the long, gradual uphill finish.

Pozzato was disappointed to be denied the stage win. "What a pity," he said . "Above all for my teammates that worked for the whole day. Rebellin was strong and the final was designed for him, but I spent too much to catch Flecha when he attacked at 550 metres to go, and to catch De La Fuente after. In the final 200 metres I started and Rebellin was on my wheel and he passed me in the last 80 metres."

The general classification of the race, also known as the Ruta del Sol, remained unchanged. Dutchman Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) holds a slim two second lead over Xavier Tondo (Andalucia-Cayasur), and five seconds on Milram's Martin Velits.

Thursday should see changes to the overall classification on the final stage, a challenging 165.8km parcours which features a category 1 climb, the Puerto del Torcal, with just 14km to go.

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