Rodriguez wins stage 3 of Volta a Catalunya

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) won stage 3 of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya after attacking in the final few hundred meters on the first mountain stage to win alone and clear of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Tejay van Garderen (BMC) finished fourth with Tour de France champion Chris Froome fifth after Rodriguez countered an initial attack from the Team Sky leader.

Rodriguez now leads the race after taking the leader’s jersey from Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano), winner of Catalunya's first two stages. Contador holds second overall at five seconds followed by Quintana in third at nine seconds.

The final ramps on the category 1-rated climb to La Molina briefly saw the top riders from last year’s Tour de France battle it out for the win after Froome launched an attack inside the final kilometre but it was Rodriguez who launched the winning move. Froome, who came into the race on the back of an injury layoff, had no answer and although Contador gave chase the Tinkoff-Saxo Spaniard was unable to catch the Katusha captain.

"Everything went fine the entire day," said Rodriguez. "I spoke with my teammates and asked them to keep control of the break and they did a perfect job.

"At 2km 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 was missing the power to win. When he sat down in the saddle again, I attacked. The last kilometer was marvelous."

The battle between the Grand Tour riders had been expected since the start of the week. After two days of racing decided by field sprints, stage 3 provided the first major test for those seeking overall honours and a scalp or two ahead of the Tour de France.

Before the start of the stage, organisers and riders were worried about the risk of snow at the finish in La Molina. However, despite the stage finishing in a ski resort surrounded by snow and with temperatures close to freezing, the route remained unchanged after forecasts predicted dry conditions for the near 2,000-metre high finish.

The early break of six riders formed quickly after the start, with Andrey Zeits (Astana), Jack Bobridge (Belkin), Michel Koch (Cannondale), Kevin Reza (Europcar), Branislau Samoilau (CCC Polsat Polkowice) and Rudy Molard (Cofidis) in the move. The peloton let them go clear and the break quickly opened a three-minute gap after 15km. Their lead grew to 9:30 after 35km with the Tinkoff-Saxo team leading the chase. Riders from Movistar, Katusha and Team Sky also lent a hand in keeping the front six under control.

Bobridge was first to the top of the category 1 Coubet climb after 41km but the mid-stage hors catégorie ascent of the Creueta was the first real test for the break and the peloton. The 21km of climbing at 4.5 percent passed close to the finish in La Molina before a loop in the valley below. The climb saw the peloton eat into the gap between the two as the tension for the final showdown grew gradually.

Bobridge was again first to the top, taking the climber's points (and at stage end the mountains classification leader's jersey) but the peloton was now only four minutes behind.

Once over the summit the peloton continued to reel the break in and with 18km remaining the leaders’ advantage was at two minutes. In the space of four kilometres they saw another minute chipped off their lead as, Tinkoff-Saxo, Katusha and Sky looked to set up their contenders for the finish.

It would be Omega Pharma's Thomas de Gendt, on behalf of Rigoberto Uran, who brought the break to within touching distance with a huge turn on the front of the peloton and with the break faltering Reza jumped clear.

GC contenders to the fore on first mountain finish

Movistar were soon on the front, though, flexing their muscles as the road began to gently rise at the start of the final 5.3km ascent. They led the peloton for almost three kilometres but just as the gradient began to really bite they appeared to go limp. Quintana had lost his team in almost the blink of an eye.

Even Contador looked as though he was suffering in the cold, the Spaniard dropping back to find shelter behind a line of AG2R riders.

Pierre Rolland had no intentions of hiding and with 2km to go he tested his rivals with a brisk but brief move. It only served as a launch pad for Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) who jumped clear on a slight plateau before the steepest sections. But whereas Katusha lacked Movistar’s numbers they more than made up for it with brawn and guile.

Daniel Moreno shimmied his way to the front, Rodriguez glued to his wheel, and even when Fuglsang was caught the race remained wide open with some 40 riders still in the front group entering the final kilometre.

Cue a Tour de France style attack from a Tour de France winner with Froome taking off to provide a flashback to how easily he dominated last year’s Tour. But this isn’t quite the Froome of 2013, and the British rider hasn’t yet found the cadence and speed he used even in Oman earlier this year.

The attacked was muffled first by Rodriguez and then by Contador with a trailing Quintana last to latch on.

And then Purito pounced. First he followed, then he allowed Froome to exhaust the final embers of his challenge on the front before hit his rival with a devastating volley on the far left of the road. Contador tried to follow but even he, coming off the back of his Tirreno-Adriatico success, was forced to yield.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha4:50:55
2Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo0:00:05
3Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team0:00:09
4Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:11
5Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:00:13
6Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:14
7Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin SharpRow 7 - Cell 2
9Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 8 - Cell 2
10Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida0:00:20
11Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:23
12David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGARow 11 - Cell 2
13Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin SharpRow 13 - Cell 2
15Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:27
16Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenedgeRow 16 - Cell 2
18Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:31
19Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team KatushaRow 18 - Cell 2
20Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory RacingRow 19 - Cell 2
21Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 20 - Cell 2
22Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 21 - Cell 2
23Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 23 - Cell 2
25Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team SkyRow 24 - Cell 2
26Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 25 - Cell 2
27Ivan Basso (Ita) CannondaleRow 26 - Cell 2
28Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin SharpRow 27 - Cell 2
29Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 28 - Cell 2
30Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 29 - Cell 2
31Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 30 - Cell 2
32Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:00:40
33Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGARow 32 - Cell 2
34Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGARow 33 - Cell 2
35David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team SkyRow 34 - Cell 2
36Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:00:47
37Christopher Horner (USA) Lampre-MeridaRow 36 - Cell 2
38George Bennett (NZl) CannondaleRow 37 - Cell 2
39Carlos Verona (Spa) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGARow 40 - Cell 2
42Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-MeridaRow 41 - Cell 2
43José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:00:54
46Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 45 - Cell 2
47Heiner Rodrigo Parra Bustamente (Col) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:00:57
48Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida0:01:00
49Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin Sharp0:01:01
50Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:01:08
51Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale0:01:29
52Jhoan Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica Greenedge0:01:31
53Igor Anton (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:34
54Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.frRow 54 - Cell 2
56Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky0:01:39
58Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-MeridaRow 57 - Cell 2
59Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 59 - Cell 2
61Javier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Garmin Sharp0:01:43
62Nathan Brown (USA) Garmin Sharp0:01:44
63Maxime Mederel (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 62 - Cell 2
64Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team EuropcarRow 63 - Cell 2
65Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha0:01:50
66Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Team KatushaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La MondialeRow 66 - Cell 2
68Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:16
69Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr0:02:28
70Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale0:02:29
71Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 71 - Cell 2
73Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 72 - Cell 2
74Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr0:02:42
75Stef Clement (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:03:06
76Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 75 - Cell 2
77Cristiano Salerno (Ita) CannondaleRow 76 - Cell 2
78Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 77 - Cell 2
79Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:03:19
80Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:37
81Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:05
82Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:04:33
83Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenedgeRow 82 - Cell 2
84Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:41
85Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar0:04:52
86Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team0:06:00
87Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:06:03
88Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:06:05
89Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 88 - Cell 2
90Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 89 - Cell 2
91Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 90 - Cell 2
92Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:06:28
93Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Trek Factory RacingRow 92 - Cell 2
94Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team EuropcarRow 93 - Cell 2
95Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 94 - Cell 2
96Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:06:44
97Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek Factory Racing0:07:18
98Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 97 - Cell 2
99Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 98 - Cell 2
100Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 99 - Cell 2
101Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 100 - Cell 2
102Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin SharpRow 101 - Cell 2
103Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
104Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.frRow 103 - Cell 2
105Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 104 - Cell 2
106Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Nathan Earle (Aus) Team SkyRow 106 - Cell 2
108Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 107 - Cell 2
109Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory RacingRow 108 - Cell 2
110Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
111Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 110 - Cell 2
112Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Mateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 112 - Cell 2
114David Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 113 - Cell 2
115Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 114 - Cell 2
116Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 115 - Cell 2
117Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo0:08:14
118Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:09:36
119Damien Howson (Aus) Orica Greenedge0:09:43
120Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.frRow 119 - Cell 2
121Martijn Keizer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 120 - Cell 2
122Daniele Ratto (Ita) CannondaleRow 121 - Cell 2
123Davide Vigano (Ita) Caja Rural - Seguros RGARow 122 - Cell 2
124Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGARow 123 - Cell 2
125Michel Koch (Ger) CannondaleRow 124 - Cell 2
126Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 125 - Cell 2
127Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:09:48
128Petr Vakoc (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 127 - Cell 2
129Michel Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 128 - Cell 2
130Jack Bobridge (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 129 - Cell 2
131Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:10:30
132Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin Sharp0:10:31
133Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 132 - Cell 2
134Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team KatushaRow 133 - Cell 2
135Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 134 - Cell 2
136Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing0:10:34
137Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 136 - Cell 2
138Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro TeamRow 137 - Cell 2
139Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 138 - Cell 2
140Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 139 - Cell 2
141Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 140 - Cell 2
142Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 141 - Cell 2
143Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.frRow 142 - Cell 2
144Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 143 - Cell 2
145Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 144 - Cell 2
146Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling TeamRow 145 - Cell 2
147Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 146 - Cell 2
148Nico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:10:40
149Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha0:10:43
150Joshua Edmondson (GBr) Team Sky0:11:19
151Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:13:09
152Jean Marc Marino (Fra) CannondaleRow 151 - Cell 2
153Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky0:21:54
154Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 153 - Cell 2
155Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.frRow 154 - Cell 2
156Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 155 - Cell 2
157Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica Greenedge0:32:07
158Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenedgeRow 157 - Cell 2
159Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 158 - Cell 2
160Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 159 - Cell 2
161Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 160 - Cell 2
162Cheng Ji (Chn) Team Giant-Shimano0:34:06
163Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica Greenedge0:34:53
DNFMarco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Lemarchand (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFChristophe Kern (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFDennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 166 - Cell 2
DNFGreg Henderson (NZl) Lotto BelisolRow 167 - Cell 2
DNFMattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 168 - Cell 2
DNFSébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 169 - Cell 2
DNFJesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 170 - Cell 2
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Mountain 1 - Coubet (Cat. 1), km. 41.6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jack Bobridge (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team16pts
2Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Polsat Polkowice10Row 2 - Cell 3
4Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team8Row 3 - Cell 3
5Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale4Row 5 - Cell 3
7Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky3Row 6 - Cell 3
8Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo2Row 7 - Cell 3
9Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha1Row 8 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 - La Creueta (HC), km. 99.0
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jack Bobridge (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team30pts
2Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team25Row 1 - Cell 3
3Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Polsat Polkowice20Row 2 - Cell 3
4Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits16Row 3 - Cell 3
5Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo8Row 6 - Cell 3
8Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo6Row 7 - Cell 3
9Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team4Row 8 - Cell 3
10Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits3Row 9 - Cell 3
11Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale2Row 10 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3 -La Molina (Cat. 1), km. 162.9
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha16pts
2Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team10Row 2 - Cell 3
4Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team8Row 3 - Cell 3
5Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale4Row 5 - Cell 3
7Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team3Row 6 - Cell 3
8Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp2Row 7 - Cell 3
9Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1Row 8 - Cell 3
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Miquel Poble Sprint - Olot, km 29,60
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale3pts
2Jack Bobridge (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 1 - Bolvir, km 127,60
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale3pts
2Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 - Bellver De Cerdanya, km 140,30
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale3pts
2Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Polsat Polkowice2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar1Row 2 - Cell 3
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1AG2R La Mondiale14:33:44
2Garmin Sharp0:00:09
3Team Sky0:00:25
4BMC Racing Team0:00:30
5Cofidis, Solutions Credit0:00:34
6Caja Rural - Seguros Rga0:00:44
7Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:00:49
9Omega Pharma - Quick-Step0:01:05
10Lotto Belisol0:01:11
11Team Katusha0:01:22
12Movistar Team0:01:31
14Astana Pro Team0:02:20
15Team Europcar0:03:00
17Orica Greenedge0:05:32
19Team Giant-Shimano0:08:29
20Ccc Polsat PolkowiceRow 19 - Cell 2
21Trek Factory Racing0:13:18
22Want- Groupe Goubert0:16:56
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