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Rodriguez wins Catalonia; Haedo takes finale

J.J. Haedo wins the finale at the Tour of Catalonia.

Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) won the 90th Tour of Catalonia in northeastern Spain on Sunday while Argentina’s Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) took the seventh and final stage.

The 30-year-old is the first Catalan-born rider to win the event, cycling’s second oldest stage race, since Jose Recio in 1983.

Rodriguez, a stage winner of the Vuelta a España, took the overall win with a time of 25 hours, 16 minutes and three seconds, a 10-second gap over fellow Catalan rider Xavier Tondo (Cervélo TestTeam).

Estonia’s Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) was third at 43 seconds behind.

“It is an honor for me to have won all three professional Catalan races of the international calendar,” said Rodriguez, who won the Scaling of Montjuic in 2001 and the Catalan Cycling Week three years later.

Haedo took the bunch sprint to win the seventh stage, a 117.8km course that finished at Barcelona’s Montmelo motor racing circuit, crossing in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 21 seconds.

Joaquim Rodriguez collects the overall victory.

He was followed by teammate Robert Forster and Ireland’s Nicolas Roche.

Several heavyweight riders were absent from the race, including Britain’s Bradley Wiggins, Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck and Russia’s Denis Menchov. Britain’s Mark Cavendish, who won the second stage of the race, pulled out of with the flu.

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