Friday, August 31, 2012
Joaquin Rodriguez leads Vuelta
FERROL, Spain -- Stephen Cummings won the 13th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Friday, and Joaquin Rodriguez maintained his overall lead.
Rodriguez stayed 13 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador and 51 seconds ahead of Tour de France runner-up Christopher Froome of Britain after all three crossed the line with the peloton. Alejandro Valverde of Spain trails by 1:20.
Contador will attempt to challenge for the leader's red jersey during the weekend of mountain climbs.
"We should be moving into my type of terrain," said 2008 champion Contador, who has the fresher legs after sitting out since February because of a doping ban. "I hope to take advantage of the opportunity. I'm in good shape and I've prepared for this."
Cummings broke off from the leading group about 2 miles from the finish line in the 107.4-mile leg. The Briton finished in 4 hours, 5 minutes, 2 seconds, while Cameron Meyer of Australia and Juan Antonio Flecha of Spain were 4 seconds behind.
German cyclist John Degenkolb, who has four stage wins, was seventh as the peloton crossed 40 seconds back.
The 93-mile stage Saturday features five category climbs including a steep finish at the top of Puerto de Ancares. The climbs include Monday's stage, where Rodriguez expects the special category finish at Cuitunigru to be decisive.
"I need to maintain my lead, that's clear. But if I feel good I'll try to attack and gain some seconds," Rodriguez said. "I need to be wary of Alberto, and if I can leave him trailing behind, I will. It would be nice if he had a bad day."