Rodriguez protects lead, Piedra wins stage
Mon, 03 Sep 2012 5:45a.m.
Joaquin Rodriguez withstood Alberto Contador's repeated attacks while defending his lead in the Spanish Vuelta, and Antonio Piedra of Caja Rural won the 15th stage.
Rodriguez stayed close to Contador's back wheel with every surge by his fellow Spaniard on the final special category climb to the finish line at the Lagos de Covadonga summit.
Piedra separated from a small breakaway group with just over 6 miles to go and finished the 116-mile stage in the Picos de Europa mountains in 5 hours, 1 minute, 23 seconds.
Ruben Perez of Euskadi-Euskaltel, Lloyd Mondory of Ag2r La Mondiale and Piedra's teammate David de la Fuente were next, just over two minutes behind the pacesetter.
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