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press releases 20.08.2012, 18:48
"Vuelta a Espana": Rodriguez 2nd, Moreno 5th in the first mountain stage

Today took place the third stage of "Vuelta a Espana", from Faustino V to Arrate (Eibar), 155 kilometers long. In the first mountain stage, with a 1st category final climbing in Alto de Arrate, 5,5 kilometers with a 7,8% average pendence, Joaquim Rodriguez proved to be ready to fight for general classification: 'Purito' stayed together with the other favorite riders, resisted and answered to all the attacks by Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) and in the end lost the win for a mere nothing, defeated only by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). A little behind, in third position, the leader of Team Sky Christopher Froome; while Contador took the fourth place. The first chasing group reached the finishing line 6'' behind the four ahead: Daniel Moreno won the sprint and took the 5th place, confirming his good shape after "Vuelta a Burgos" victory. Thanks to this performance, Rodriguez moved to third position in general classification, 19'' behind the new leader Valverde; another Katusha Team's rider, Dani Moreno, entered the top-ten in ninth position, 33'' far.

"I'm really angry - said 'Purito' - I lost a stage I was virtually holding in my hands. I knew the profile of the stage, especially I knew in the end I had to stay ahead because of two difficult downhill corners. In fact I was perfect: but in the last 5 meters I stopped to pedal and Valverde passed me for a bunch of millimeters. I expected today the favorite riders to be at the same standard and I have very good feelings about my shape, but in this moment I'm so pissed against myself that I don't really care. I can only think I lost a stage not because I was weakier, but because I was stupid".