Rodriguez Escapes to Win Stage 5 of the 2010 Tour of the Basque Country; Valverde Keeps Overall Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2010 Lead
Joaquin Rodriguez has won the fifth stage of the 2010 Tour of Basque Country and fellow Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Team Caisse d'Epargne) retained the overall lead by 1 second over American Chris Horner (Team RadioShack).
Joaquin Rodriguez has won the fifth stage of the 2010 Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2010) and fellow Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Team Caisse d'Epargne) retained the overall lead by 1 second over American Chris Horner (Team RadioShack).
Team Katusha's Rodriguez took a fantastic solo victory after a powerful attack on the last climb of the 170 kilometer stage five of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Rodriguez clocked 4 hours, 7 minutes, 52 seconds on Friday's mountain stage, finishing 14 seconds ahead of a three-man pack led by Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel). Valverde finished third in the same time, as did the fourth-placed Horner of Team RadioShack.
"This morning I was sad because I thought I would ride better yesterday than I did. I felt well until the last climb, but in the final I dropped off. Today I reacted well, I felt well all the day and finally, I won. Now I'm happy. Tomorrow we'll ride the ITT, it's a different time trial with a hard climb. My dream it to be on the GC podium," Joaquin Rodriguez told Roadcycling.com after being celebrated on the podium.
For Rodriguez this is the third success this season after winning the 2010 Vuelta Catalunya and the GP Indurain.
Commenting about his expectations for tomorrow's decisive time trial Valverde says he is evenly matched with his American rival (Chris Horner), but is "betting on myself for the final victory."
"It's an extremely technical TT course and there will be some big time gaps," Valverde added.
The 2010 Tour of the Basque Country finishes tomorrow with a decisive 22 kilometer individual time trial in Orio. Watch 2010 Tour of the Basque Country video highlights in our Roadcycling.com videos section and watch the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2010 race live online at www.universalsports.com/cycling.