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Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez won the sixth stage of the Tour of Spain on Thursday and held on to the overall leaders' red jersey for the third staight day.
Rodriguez, of the Katusha team, crossed the finish line of the 175.4- kilometre (108-mile) course between Tarazona and Jaca just ahead of Britain's Christopher Froome, followed by Spain's Alejandro Valverde.
He ended up in first place in the overall standings with Froome 10 seconds behind.
Spain's Alberto Contador, who is racing for the first time since a doping ban, is in third place, at 35 seconds from the overall leader.
Friday's stage will take the riders from Huesca to Alcaniz, a distance of 164.2 kilometres (102 miles).
The 21-stage race finishes on September 9 in Madrid.
The Vuelta is one of cycling's three 'major tours' along with the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia. – AFP