Joaquim RodrМguez won the first of three consecutive summit finishes with really fight with Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) on the Puerto de Ancares showing his amazing shape.
Contador appeared to have the stage won when he attacked 2km from the finish and distanced a group containing RodrМguez, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Dani Moreno that did a very great job and pushed Purito to catch the strong Spanish rider and passed him for a stage. RodrМguez’s victory pushed his overall lead out to 22 seconds over Contador, with Froome and Valverde now tied at 1-41 and looking less likely of challenging for the two top places overall.
Rodriguez: “It was a very hard and fast stage: the breakaway was always kept under control. Anyway we were calm because we had Losada in it: he did a very good job. Moreover I had Dani Moreno with me, so when we caught Alberto I had two team-mates that could help me in the final part. The team worked great. When Contador and Froome tried to attack we let them go and I preferred to climb the uphill with my rhythm. Now I gained some more seconds but there are still three mountain stages that can change everything: and it’s not only a matter of Contador and me. Valverde when attacks he proves to be very strong, while Froome at first seemed to drop, then he came back and attack himself. Everything can happen”.