Pais Vasco: Rodriguez wins stage 3 in Zumarraga

Katusha's Joaquím Rodríguez won the third stage of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco on Wednesday. The Spaniard won a three-man sprint to the line ahead of Sergio Henao (Team Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

"This win is so important to me as it has been more than a year since I won," Rodriguez said. "I’ve always had the good legs but I’ve had so much bad luck. I started to be afraid that the bad dream would never end. This is a new beginning for me. Thank you Team Katusha for the support during the day."

The three riders broke away from the main field on the steep slopes of the Antigua, with three kilometres to go, and descended together into the finishing area on the streets of Zumarraga. Henao started the sprint but was overtaken by Rodriguez at the line, while Quintana rolled across in third.

Henao is now leading the overall classification ahead of, but with the same time as, Rodriguez and Quintana. The race heads into the fourth stage on Thursday, a 162.2km race from Zumarraga to Arrate.

How it unfolded

The third stage of Pais Vasco was a 170.7km from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Zumarraga with climbs over the Azazeta (cat 2), Iturrieta (cat 1), Urbasa (cat 1), Urkilaga (cat 2), Gabiria (cat 3), Antigua (cat 3, twice), Atagoiti (cat 3) and the Antiguako (cat 2).

A breakaway of four riders set off with Hugh Carthy and Omar Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Lieuwe Westra (Astana) and Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal).

Fraile, who was also in the stage 1 breakaway, picked up enough points over the day’s ascents to re-claim the lead of the mountain competition (from his teammate Amets Txurruka). The four riders held a three-minute gap with 65km to go over the Urkilaga.

Although there aren’t really any flat stages in Pais Vasco, stage 3 was considered the first of the mountain stages and Movistar set the pace ahead of the main peloton to protect their GC leader Nairo Quintana.

Unfortunately for Cannondale-Garmin, Andrew Talansky crashed on an elevated median on the road on one of the mid-race descents and looked to be in a lot of pain. He slowly got back on the bike, and with the help of his teammate Nathan Brown, tried to work his way back into the field.

On the flatter sections during the final 40km, Movistar got some help from teams Katusha and Tinkoff-Saxo, while the breakaway held a two-minute lead.

The escapees made it to the top of the Gabiria still holding two minutes but after a long descent the next test was the narrow Antigua, which averaged 16 per cent at the top (with sections that were 22 per cent), which the peloton had to climb twice.

Westra attacked his breakaway companions on the first climb over the Antigua with 35km to go, while at the same time his teammates behind moved themselves to the front of the field to better position Michele Scarponi. Tinkoff riders also emerged on the steeper parts of the climb but Westra held onto a small lead over the 16 per cent (average) slope.

Crowds swarmed the top of the climb and as the main field reached the steeper sections, they struggled to get through, and several riders were forced to get off their bikes and run. The field split over the top but the front group swelled back up roughly 50 riders, which included many of the top GC riders. The second chase group on the road ended up several minutes back.

Westra’s gap dropped to just over a minute as Katusha moved back to the lead of the peloton with 19km to go on the flatter sections. Movistar regained control as the race headed into the penultimate climb over the Atagoiti.

On the Atagoiti, Westra’s time gap was down to 20 seconds as Movistar ramped up the pace toward the steeper parts with Quintana tucked in on his teammates’ wheels. Following the climb, as the terrain flattened out Lampre-Merida, Team Sky and Katusha also pushed toward the front of the field and led into the Antigua.

Team Sky and Movistar blew passed Westra at the base of the Antigua. Sky's Vasil Kiryienka made a move to gain a small gap but Katusha’s Rodriguez shot ahead with Scarponi, Quintana sitting in third wheel and world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) in fourth position.

Quintana raced into the steep section first, with Kwiatkowski on his wheel, as he pushed through the crowds. Henao was the first to make a big attack and he was quickly marked by Rodriguez, and Quintana followed. They three crested the top together and started the descent with under three kilometres to go.

Rodriguez led down the descent followed by Henao and then Quintana. After a bit of jockeying for the front position, Rodriguez ended up in the lead again with 800 metres to go but Henao jumped through the final corner to start the three-up sprint with 150 metres to the finish line.

Rodriguez wound up his sprint and got around Henao at the line, while Quintana ended up in third.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha4:39:02
2Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky
3Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
4Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:07
5Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
6Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
8Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge0:00:10
9Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha
10Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
11Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha
12Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team
13Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
14Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana Pro Team
15Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
16Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge
17Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team
18Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha
19Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:18
20Thibaut Pinot (Fra)
21Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida0:00:26
22David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky0:00:28
23Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:32
24Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky0:00:40
25Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky
26Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar Team
27Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step
28Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
29Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
30Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team0:00:58
31Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
32Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida
33Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
34Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky
35Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:01:18
36Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
37Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal0:01:32
38Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:01:56
39Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:03:35
40Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team0:03:47
41Angel Vicioso (Spa) Team Katusha0:04:11
42Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:04:28
43Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:04:37
44Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
45Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:04:40
46Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
47Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
48Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal
49Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
50Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
51Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
52George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
53Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team
54Janier Acevedo (Col) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:04:45
55Jose Rodolfo Serpa (Col) Lampre-Merida0:04:47
56Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:14
57Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:45
58Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:05:55
59Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team0:07:02
60Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge0:07:36
61Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:08:15
62Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha0:09:28
63Francis Mourey (Fra)
64Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
65Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin
66Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:09:59
67Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
68Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
69Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
70Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
71Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
72Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff-Saxo
73Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling
74Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling
75Michal Golas (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step
76Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling
77Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha
78Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo
79Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge
80Yohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
81Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing
82Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing0:10:06
83David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step0:10:11
84Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha0:10:28
85Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge0:10:30
86Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:10:33
87Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:10:36
88Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:10:55
89Kevin De Weert (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:11:09
90Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
91Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:11:20
92Antonio Molina (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
93José Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team
94Lawrence Warbasse (USA) IAM Cycling
95Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
96Kenny Elissonde (Fra)
97Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo
98Jérémy Roy (Fra)
99Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
100Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida
101Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
102David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
103Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Team Sky
104Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
105Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team
106Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
107Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
108Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin
109Carter Jones (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin
110Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
111David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling
112Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
113Caleb Fairly (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin
114Clement Chevrier (Fra) IAM Cycling
115Patrick Schelling (Swi) IAM Cycling
116Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
117Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
118Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
119Kévin Reza (Fra)
120Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
121Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:11:42
122Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:11:58
123Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:12:11
124Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step0:12:27
125Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:14:22
126Mario Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
127Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:14:52
128Igor Anton (Spa) Movistar Team
129Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R La Mondiale
130Fredrik Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin
131Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
132Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
133Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
134Eduard Beltran (Col) Tinkoff-Saxo
135Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky0:15:14
136Cheng Ji (Chn) Team Giant-Alpecin0:15:24
137Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo0:15:25
138Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:15:37
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha25pts
2Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky20
3Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team16
4Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step14
5Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo12
6Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team10
7Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team9
8Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge8
9Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha7
10Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team6
11Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha5
12Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team4
13Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale3
14Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana Pro Team2
15Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing1
16Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step-10
17Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin-5
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Sprint 1 - Ezkio, 136,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team3pts
2Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2
3Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal1
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Sprint 2 - Legazpi, 148,7 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team3pts
2Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2
3Angel Vicioso (Spa) Team Katusha1
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Sprint 3 - Ezkio, 164,9 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team3pts
2Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team2
3Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team1
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Mountain 1 - Alto de Azazeta, 16,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA6pts
2Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team4
3Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal2
4Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA1
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Mountain 2 - Alto de Iturrieta, 38,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA10pts
2Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team8
3Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA6
4Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal4
5Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2
6Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team1
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Mountain 3 - Alto de Urbasa, 62,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA10pts
2Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team8
3Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal6
4Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA4
5Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2
6Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team1
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Mountain 4 - Alto de Urkillaga, 108,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA6pts
2Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team4
3Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal2
4Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA1
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Mountain 5 - Alto de Gabiria, 131,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA3pts
2Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team2
3Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA1
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Mountain 6 - Alto de la Antigua, 140,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team6pts
2Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA4
3Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2
4Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal1
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Mountain 7 - Alto de Atagoiti, 153,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team3pts
2Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team2
3Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team1
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Mountain 8 - Alto de la Antigua, 168,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky6pts
2Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team4
3Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha2
4Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step1
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Katusha13:57:26
2Astana Pro Team0:00:07
3BMC Racing Team0:00:15
4Movistar Team0:00:30
5Team Sky0:00:48
6Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:07
7AG2R La Mondiale0:05:28
9Trek Factory Racing0:05:48