Tuesday September 4, 2012
Contador fails to dent Rodriguez’s lead
LAGOS DE COVADONGA (Spain): Five blistering attacks by Spain’s Alberto Contador on the emblematic Lagos de Covadonga climb failed to dislodge the Tour of Spain leader and compatriot Joaquim Rodriguez from the race’s top spot on Sunday.
At the head of the race, Spain’s Antonio Piedra from the low-budget Caja Rural team secured the biggest win of his career from a day-long break of 10 non-favourites overall.
Meanwhile, in the battle between the main contenders on the 13km climb, Contador tested Rodriguez’s strength but failed to make the race leader crack.
“I wasn’t feeling great this morning but then I realised other people could be feeling even worse than me, so I gave it a go,” Contador, who finished 13th on the stage in the same time as Rodrguez, told reporters afterwards.
“You never know when your rivals are going to have a bad day,” he added. “Just as well he felt bad, because I couldn’t have handled a bigger attack than those ones, I was really suffering,” Rodrguez said.
“I lost count of the number of attacks he made – 32,33? If he’s feeling better tomorrow then it’s going to be very difficult.”
Overall, Rodrguez’s lead of 22 seconds over Contador remains intact, whilst a third Spaniard, Alejandro Valverde, moves onto the provisional podium in third spot, 1 minute 41 seconds back, as Britain’s Chris Froome cracked half-way up the climb and slid to fourth overall.