Stef Clement wins 6th Volta stage, Rodriguez leads
VILANOVA I LA GELTRU, Spain (AP) Dutch cyclist Stef Clement won a windy sixth and penultimate stage of the Volta a Catalunya on Saturday, while Joaquim Rodriguez protected his overall lead.
Clement, riding for Belkin, pulled away from a small breakaway group to claim the 172-kilometer (107-mile) ride from El Vendrell to Vilanova i la Geltru in 3 hours, 58 minutes, 44 seconds.
The peloton with the race leaders arrived almost a minute later to end a day featuring gusting winds after snow and cold temperatures had marked previous stages.
Rodriguez, who won the race in 2010, leads fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador by four seconds heading into Sunday’s final stage.
Tejay Van Garderen remained seven seconds back. Romain Bardet and Nairo Quintana stayed 10 seconds behind, while Tour de France winner Christopher Froome was 17 seconds off the pace.
The weeklong race concludes with a 120.7-kilometer (74.9-mile) ride starting and finishing in Barcelona, with the finish line on the Montjuic hill.
Contador said Rodriguez will have the advantage of riding in his hometown, but he believed the weather could shake things up.
”Joaquim knows tomorrow’s stage to perfection,” said Contador. ”We will have to see what the weather is like, because if it rains or there are heavy winds like today it could be very complicated. I still remember the 2009 Tour stage in Barcelona. It was like riding on ice, we fell even in the straightaways.”