Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Events

Cataldo wins at Cuito Negru; Rodriguez beats back Contador

Purito survives big mountain test in Spain and expands his overall lead

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

VALGRANDE-PAJARES, Spain (AFP) — Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won stage 16 of the Vuelta a España Monday, surviving from a long breakaway on the brutally steep slopes of the Cuitu Negru climb.

Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) was second in the Vuelta’s queen stage.

Overall leader Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) overcame a string of attacks from Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) to finish third and take a four-second time bonus.

“I am really super happy,” said Cataldo. “I won the queen stage. It was a long break with a great rider as De Gendt. I am improving day-by-day, and really looking forward to the next stages and, why not, to really try and do something good at the Tour of Lombardy, the last objective of my season.”

Rodríguez will be praying he is not pipped for the title of a second major tour this year after leading the Giro d’Italia going into the final stage, a time trial, where he ended up finishing second overall by just 16 seconds to Garmin-Sharp’s Ryder Hesjedal.

Cataldo, 27, dug deep on the final climb at the Valgrande-Pajares ski station, a newly paved road reaching grades of 20-to-24 percent in the final kilometers, to hold off De Gendt, who won the queen stage at the Giro in May.

The 33-year-old Rodríguez, who entered this Vuelta as a secondary favorite to the likes of Contador and fourth-overall Chris Froome (Sky), consolidated his position as overall tour leader, 28 seconds ahead of Contador, 2:04 ahead of Alejandro
Valverde (Movistar) and 4:52 ahead of Froome.

Rodríguez is just where he wanted to be ahead of Tuesday’s rest day, with the tour resuming on Wednesday with a 187.3km run from Santander to Fuente Dé.

“I have always said that the leader at the rest day will have a lot of possibilities and now I think it is going to be between Alberto, Alejandro and me,” Rodríguez said.

But Contador, too, had high hopes.

“We could not get away from Purito, who is really very strong. But I am very happy because we have given color and emotion to this race and that’s what it’s about in the end,” he said. “I would like it if we could have a bad day with rain because rain tends to suit me.”