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Rodriguez surges to stage success

ESPN staff
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Joaquin Rodriguez showed his climbing legs © Getty Images
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Joaquin Rodriguez used his superior climbing skills to power away in the final kilometre to take Stage Five of the Vuelta a Espana.

Rodriguez and his Katusha team-mate Daniel Moreno surged clear of the pack, along with Wouter Poels, on the run into Valdepenas de Jaen and it was Rodriguez who had the greater legs to secure the stage. Bradley Wiggins finished 20 seconds down.

David Moncoutie jumped off the front of the leading group on the Alto de Valdepenas and held a 30-second lead over the top. Although not viewed as a great descender, he held his advantage all the way to the bottom and looked sure to claim the stage win.

However the final, punishing climb into the finish proved the Cofidis rider's undoing and he was swallowed up with a kilometre to run.

Rodriguez, Poels and Moreno ripped clear in the final stages and it was the Katusha rider who proved the sharpest on the run to the line to take the stage.

Moreno secured a time bonus for third and moved up to second overall, with Sylvain Chavanel hanging on to the leader's red jersey by nine seconds.

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