Leader Rodriguez wins 12th stage

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Joachim_Rodriguez REUTERS Katusha's Joaquim "Purito" Rodriguez of Spain.

Dumbria, Spain – Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez won the 12th stage of the Tour of Spain Thursday, a 190.5-kilometre course between Vilagarcia de Arousa to Dumbria, and held onto the overall race lead.

The 33-year-old Katusha rider completed the stage, which included a summit finish, in four hours, 24 minutes and 32 seconds, eight seconds ahead of fellow Spaniard and 2008 Tour of Spain winner Alberto Contador who finished second.

Spain's Alberto Valverde finished third, 13 seconds behind the leader.

The stage win allowed Rodriguez to boost his advantage over his nearest rivals in the overall standings.

He is 13 seconds ahead of second-place Contador – who is back from a two-year drugs ban – and 51 seconds ahead of Britain's Christopher Froome, the runner-up at this year's Tour de France.

Friday's 13th stage takes the Tour peloton on a 172.8-kilometre ride from Santiago de Compostela to Ferrol.

The Tour finishes on September 9 in Madrid. – Sapa-AFP


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