Cervelo TestTeam's Tondo Wins Stage Three of Volta a Catalunya, Rodriguez Leads
Xavier Tondo and Joaquin Rodriguez finish 1-2 in mountain stage to La Seu d'Urgell.
Spaniard Xavier Tondo won Stage 3 of the Tour of Catalunya on Wednesday with compatriot Joaquim Rodriguez claiming the overall lead.
Tondo and Rodríguez (Team Katusha) escaped 50 kilometers from the end of the 185 kilometer stage holding off a chase late in the stage from Luis Leon Sanchez (Team Caisse d'Epargne), who placed third at 48 seconds. Because of his better result in the opening time trial, Rodríguez is the new race leader. Tondo is 10 seconds behind, with Sanchez at 48 seconds.
Tondo, riding for the Cervelo TestTeam, won Catalunya's most mountainous stage ahead of Rodriguez. Another Spaniard, Luis Leon Sanchez, counterattacked in the closing kilometers to finish third.
"It was really important for me to win today as this stage is just seven kilometres from my home (where Tondo grew up, ed.)," Xavier Tondo , said after crossing the finish line obviously very moved by the important win. "When I was young I dreamed of winning at the Catalunya, I know these roads very well. For me today it's like a dream. I feel really good with this team with riders like Inigo Cuesta supporting my efforts. Believe me that is very important. We all work for one goal and finally when you achieve something. It feels great." The whole team here at Roadcycling.com are also moved by Tondo's victory.
"Everything worked really well today. We planned, before the start of today's stage, to ride offensively and in the front to support Tondo," Cervelo TestTeam sports director Alex Sans Vega commented after guiding his rider to a remarkable victory. "We looked at this stage last week when we were training and marked it in the book as a possibility. And, the team came through. They were really good at supporting him for the entire stage by making the race fast. That allowed him to finally break away with one other rider. He worked in collaboration until the end of the final with Rodríguez and then won the sprint," Sans Vega added.
The Tour of Catalunya finishes on March 28 in Montmelo.
Ten days ago Xavier Tondo also won stage six of the race towards the sun, the 2010 Paris-Nice.