Tour of Catalonia stage three photo gallery>>

Xavier Tondo (Cervelo) followed
his spectacular lone win on stage six of Paris-Nice
11 days ago with another great victory on stage three of the Tour of Catalonia.

In Paris-Nice Tondo went it alone for the last part of the tough stage, finally fending off the peloton by a bare handful of seconds. At Catalonia he had company, launching a joint attack on the final climb of the day in the company of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro (Astana).

Pereiro sat up fairly quickly, but Rodriguez and Tondo continued to believe in their chances, despite there being 55 kilometres to the finish after the summit.

Fending off the bunch was never going to be an easy task, but the four big Pyrenean climbs, not to mention a very dangerous final descent, had wreaked havoc in the pèloton, which was down to less than a couple of dozen riders by the finish.

Tondo and Rodriguez, on the other hand, are both Catalans, so were extra motivated at the chance of performing well on home soil, and at the same time they had a very clear idea of their objectives.

For the Cervélo rider, the stage win was the target, whilst Rodriguez was better placed overall and was looking for the stage lead.

Although their lead never rose above a minute, the two – incredibly – managed to stay out of the bunch’s clutches. Rodriguez eased back to allow Tondo the win, with last year’s Paris-Nice winner Luis León Sanchez taking third, 48 seconds back.

Overall, Rodriguez now leads by 10 seconds on Tondo and Sanchez is in third, making it a clean sweep for Spain both on the stage and the overall.

But with three very hilly stages still remaining, the former Tour of Spain leader was the first to admit he would have a tough task defending his position overall.

“Tondo is one challenger, but there are lots of other rivals who will have seen what we did today and who will want to test their luck,” the Katusha rider said.

“We had to try attacking from a long way out, on a route with no time trial and no mountain top finish, it was the only option.” But it was an option that paid off very well indeed.

RESULTS

Tour of Catalonia 2010, stage three: La Vall d’En Bas-La Seu d’Urgell

1. Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervelo 185.9km in 4-43-23


2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha

3. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 48secs

4. Sandy Casar (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 1-20

5. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Transitions

6. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r La Mondiale

7. Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank

8. Aitor Perez (Spa) Footon-Servetto

9. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana

10. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis at same time.

Overall classification after stage three

1. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha in 9-04-12


2. Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervelo Test Team at 10secs

3. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 48secs

4. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r La Mondiale at 1-20

5. Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo at 1-20

6. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Transitions at 1-20

7. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis at 1-20

8. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo at 1-22

9. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Transitions at 1-24

10. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) RadioShack at 1-25

Daryl Impey crashes, Tour of Catalonia 2010, stage three



Daryl Impey took a nasty spill

Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloden, Tour of Catalonia 2010, stage three



Andreas Kloden and Levi Leipheimer

Xavier Tondo and Levi Leipheimer, Tour of Catalonia 2010, stage three



Xavier Tondo and Levi Leipheimer

Tour of Catalonia 2010, stage three

Jason McCartney, Xavier Tondo and Levi Leipheimer, Tour of Catalonia 2010, stage three



Jason McCartney, Xavier Tondo and Levi Leipheimer

Xavier Tondo and Joaquin Rodriguez, Tour of Catalonia 2010, stage three



Xavier Tondo takes the win; Joaquin Rodriguez (right) now leads overall

Related links

Stage three photo gallery

Tour of Catalonia 2010, stage two: Cavendish takes first win of season

Stage two photo gallery

Tour of Catalonia 2010, stage one: Voss takes surprise win

Illness forces Wiggins out of Tour of Catalonia

Tour of Catalonia 2010 preview

Cycling Weekly’s all-time list of British pro winners

 

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  • John Calliott

    Does anyone know why Oscar Pereiro lost 20 seconds on the stage? He started the day 4 seconds behind Rodriguez, and all the stage results show he finished 1:20 back today. In the provisional listings, even the ones at the official site, he was listed in tenth in the GC at 1:24. But in the final classifications, he was down to 1:44.