LA MOLINA, Spain -- Joaquim Rodriguez broke away from the other race favourites on a final uphill climb to take the lead of the Volta a Catalunya with a stage win on Wednesday.
Local favourite Rodriguez surged past Tour de France winner Christopher Froome and left behind Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana to claim the third of seven stages, a 163-kilometre (101-mile) ride from Banyoles to La Molina in the Pyrenees mountains.
Contador finished second, followed by Quintana in third. Froome crossed fifth.
On Thursday, riders face a second consecutive day of cold temperatures and snow-topped mountains with a 166-kilometre (103-mile) ride ending in a summit finish above the village of Setcases.