Cycling

Rodriguez wins in Catalunya

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Joaquim Rodriguez (AP)
Joaquim Rodriguez (AP)

Joaquim Rodriguez won the Tour of Catalunya for a second time on Sunday when the Team Katusha rider defended his slender overnight lead to pip fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador of Tinkoff-Saxo into second.

Champion in 2010, local favourite Rodriguez had a four-second lead going into the last and shortest of seven stages, a 121-kilometre ride in damp conditions that started and finished on Barcelona's Montjuic hill.

Contador, a two-time Tour de France winner, mounted a half-hearted attack around 2 kms out but Rodriguez, known as "purito" due to his fondness for cigars, easily reined him in and all the top riders finished bunched together.

They were around two minutes behind Dutch stage winner Lieuwe Westra of Astana Pro Team, while BMC Racing Team's Tejay van Garderen was third overall, three seconds behind Contador, according to provisional results.

Tour de France champion Chris Froome, who was returning to competition after a back injury and had said he was unlikely to push for victory on the final day, finished sixth, according to his Team Sky, matching his overnight position.

The Briton, who suffered a fall around the 58-km mark but was unhurt and able to continue, sat out this month's Tirreno-Adriatico, won by the Contador, because of lower back pain.

He eased to victory in last year's Tour and finished the three-week race over six minutes ahead of fourth-placed Contador, who is expected to be one of his main rivals in the 2014 edition.

The Tour's Grand Depart in the English city of Leeds is on July 5.

STAGE 7 RESULTS

1. Lieuwe Westra (Netherlands / Astana) 2:36:14"
2. Markus Burghardt (Germany / BMC Racing) +1:22"
3. Thomas Voeckler (France / Europcar)
4. Maciej Paterski (Poland / CCC) +1:26"
5. Yoann Bagot (France / Cofidis) +1:36"
6. Jan Polanc (Slovenia / Lampre) +2:07"
7. Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff - Saxo)
8. Romain Bardet (France / AG2R)
9. Arnold Jeannesson (France / FDJ.fr)
10. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha)
10. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha)
11. Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark / Astana)
12. Jerome Baugnies (Belgium / Wanty)
13. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky)
14. Tejay van Garderen (U.S. / BMC Racing)
15. Andrew Talansky (U.S. / Garmin)
16. Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar)
17. Warren Barguil (France / Giant)
18. Maxime Mederel (France / Europcar)
19. Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / Trek)
20. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands / Belkin)

FINAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain / Katusha) 29:41:34"
2. Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff - Saxo) +4"
3. Tejay van Garderen (U.S. / BMC Racing) +7"
4. Romain Bardet (France / AG2R) +10"
5. Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar)
6. Andrew Talansky (U.S. / Garmin) +18"
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy / AG2R) +26"
8. Warren Barguil (France / Giant) +42"
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark / Astana) +1:00"
10. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands / Belkin) +1:01"
11. Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark / Astana) +1:00"
12. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands / Belkin) +1:01"
13. Thibaut Pinot (France / FDJ.fr) +1:20"
14. Luis Angel Mate (Spain / Cofidis) +1:24"
15. Ryder Hesjedal (Canada / Garmin) +1:26"
16. Daniel Martin (Ireland / Garmin) +1:49"
17. David Lopez (Spain / Team Sky) +1:54"
18. Daniel Moreno (Spain / Katusha) +1:58"
19. Sander Armee (Belgium / Lotto)
20. Fabio Aru (Italy / Astana) +2:34"

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