MADRID, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) — Joaquin Rodriguez won his second stage of this season’s Vuelta de Espana (Tour of Spain) cycle race, which finished in the town of el Escorial on Saturday.
Rodriguez was the strongest finisher on the steep ramp at the end of the 177 kilometer stage, between Talavera and El Escorial, which saw the riders return to the mountains after Friday’s sprint stage.
Sprinter Tyler Farrar, who was injured in the mass crash that he caused when he fell on the final straight on Friday’s stage, withdrew from the race as a result of his injuries, while Spanish veteran Oscar Freire also withdrew, to prepare for the World Championships, which will be held in Denmark in September.
The finish was once again perfect for Rodriguez and the Katusha team rider was able to blow away his rivals on the steep finishing straight in El Escorial.
He finished nine seconds ahead of the Italian Michele Scarponi, Dutchman, Bauke Mollema and the Belgian climber, Jurgen Van den Broeck.
The win saw Rodriguez replace Sylvian Chavanel as the overall race leader while his team-mate Daniel Moreno is in second place overall.
Sunday’s ninth stage is another mountains 183 kilometers between Vilacastin and Sierra de Bejar.