ROME, March 10, 2013 (AFP) – Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez won the fifth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico over 230km from Ortona to Chieti on Sunday as Britain’s Chris Froome moved into the overall lead.
Sky’s Froome finished in a group, including former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, just a few seconds behind Rodriguez.
That was enough for the Briton to wrench the leader’s blue jersey from Michal Kwiatowski’s grasp as the Pole was distanced on the final climb.
Rodriguez attacked on the steepest part of the final climb with 1.4km left and put eight seconds into the chasing pack, led home by Dutchman Bauke Mollema with Contador in third.
“It was a stage that suited me but I didn’t expect it because I was feeling terrible,” said the winner.
“I thought I had bad legs, especially after all the rain we had this week.
“This win really means a lot because there were a lot of good riders here and it’s never easy to beat them.”
Froome finished sixth on the same time as Contador and now leads the Spaniard by 20sec with two stages left, including a final stage time-trial.
“Contador lost some time yesterday and he tried to pull it back today. It was very hard for everybody after 230km, nobody had much left in the legs,” said Froome.
Italian Vincenzo Nibali came home in seventh, 17sec behind the winner and is now third overall on the same time as Contador.
Kwiatowski drops to fourth after finishing 40sec down on the stage, while Rodriguez has moved up to seventh in the standings, although with 55sec to make up his chances of final victory look slim.
Both Contador and Froome, whose Sky team marshalled the pace with great expertise, tried their luck on that final climb before Rodriguez made an attack stick.
Tomorrow’s Stage 6 is 209km long circuit around Porto Sant’Elpidio.
Tirreno Adriatico (2013) - Stage 5
|1||RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin||ESP||KATUSHA||6:06:43|
|3||CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto||ESP||Saxo Tinkoff|
|4||SANTAMBROGIO, Mauro||ITA||FARNESE VINI|
|5||HORNER, Christopher||USA||Radioshack Leopard|
|6||FROOME, Chris||GBR||SKY PROCYCLING|
|8||NIEMIEC, Przemyslaw||POL||LAMPRE - ISD||22|
|9||KREUZIGER, Roman||CZE||Saxo Tinkoff|
|1||FROOME, Chris||GBR||SKY PROCYCLING||22:11:53|
|2||CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto||ESP||Saxo Tinkoff||20|
|4||KWIATKOWSKI, Michal||POL||OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP||24|
|5||HORNER, Christopher||USA||Radioshack Leopard||37|
|6||SANTAMBROGIO, Mauro||ITA||FARNESE VINI||52|
|7||RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin||ESP||KATUSHA||55|
|8||URAN, Rigobero||COL||SKY PROCYCLING||57|
|9||KREUZIGER, Roman||CZE||Saxo Tinkoff||+1:27|
|10||Luis HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio||KHM||SKY PROCYCLING||+1:51|
|1||CAVENDISH, Mark||GBR||OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP||21|
|2||GOSS, Matthew Harley||AUS||ORICA-GREENEDGE||18|
|3||CIOLEK, Gerald||GER||MTN QHUBEKA||15|
|4||SAGAN, Peter||SVK||Cannondale Pro Cycling||14|
|5||FROOME, Chris||GBR||SKY PROCYCLING||13|
|6||KWIATKOWSKI, Michal||POL||OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP||12|
|7||GREIPEL, André||GER||LOTTO BELISOL||12|
|8||BELLETTI, Manuel||ITA||AG2R LA MONDIALE||12|
|9||BENEDETTI, Cesare||ITA||TEAM NETAPP - ENDURA||11|
|10||CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto||ESP||Saxo Tinkoff||10|
|1||FAILLI, Francesco||ITA||FARNESE VINI||13|
|2||BENEDETTI, Cesare||ITA||TEAM NETAPP - ENDURA||13|
|3||BRAVO OIARBIDE, Garikoitz||ESP||EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI||10|
|4||FROOME, Chris||GBR||SKY PROCYCLING||5|
|5||ROUX, Anthony||FRA||FDJ-BIG MAT||5|