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Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2015 Stage 3

photo credit @ Vuelta al Pais Vasco

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) claimed the 3rd stage of this year’s Vuelta al Pais Vasco today, after crossing the finish with a comfortable gap ahead of his closest rivals – Sergio Henao (Sky) and Movistar’s Nairo Quintana.

The Finale

The trio succeeded in breaking clear of the peloton during the final climb of the day – followed by a challenging descent on the run-in to the finish in Zumarraga.

A last minute mishap during the final corner, almost cost Rodriguez his victory. But, the Spanish rider was able to keep it together, and drive things home to claim his first win of the season.

Race Highlights

Lieuwe Westra (Astana) was off the front alone during the day’s final climb, after jettisoning his breakaway companions, Omar Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal), and Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), earlier in the stage.

With 10 kilometers remaining, Westra was stilling holding onto a slight 23 second lead over the chase. However, a further 5 kilometers later, the Astana rider was caught by the the peloton.

From there, Henao decided to attack, just before the summit of the Alto de La Antigua. However, his move was quickly joined by Rodriguez and Quintana.

Back in the peloton, Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick-Step) led the chase group, but to no avail.

Henao was still at the front, when the trio entered into the final kilometer of the race. But, soon thereafter, Rodriguez moved to the front to takeover the pace setting.

Henao responded by overtaking the Katusha rider once more. But, Rodgriguez was right there to counter – subsequently riding past his fellow countryman in the closing 150 meters to seize the win.

Following today’s results, Henao now leads the overall classification in the race, while Rodgriguez is in second, followed by Quintana in third.

Stage 3 Results
ESP 1 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA) 4:39:02
COL 2 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY)
COL 3 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR)
POL 4 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 7
POL 5 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO)
ITA 6 SCARPONI, Michele (ASTANA)
ESP 7 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING)
GBR 8 YATES, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 10
SLO 9 SPILAK, Simon (KATUSHA)
USA 10 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING)

General Classification after Stage 3
COL 1 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) 13:08:41
ESP 2 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA)
COL 3 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR)
POL 4 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 7
ESP 5 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING)
POL 6 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO)
ITA 7 SCARPONI, Michele (ASTANA)
ESP 8 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA) + 10
FRA 9 VUILLERMOZ, Alexis (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
USA 10 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING)

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