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Joaquin Rodriguez sharp in key climb

Updated: September 3, 2012, 4:07 PM ET
Associated Press

CUITUNIGRU, Spain -- Joaquin Rodriguez is in prime position to win the Spanish Vuelta after holding off Alberto Contador on Monday during the most demanding leg of the race.

The mountainous 16th stage was won by Dario Cataldo of Italy.

Contador tried repeatedly to break away from his fellow Spaniard during the grueling final stretch after four special category climbs. Rodriguez pulled ahead as the riders neared the finish at the summit.

Rodriguez extended his lead by 6 seconds ...

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