Caja Rural's Antonio Piedra survived out of a long breakaway to solo home to victory atop the Lagos de Covadonga, as the Vuelta entered the fearsome mountains of Asturias for what promises to be a brutal final week. Behind him, Alberto Contador and overall leader Joaquim Rodriguez stood toe to toe, slugging away, with Contador able to stagger the Katusha man only briefly, as Rodriguez simply shook off one attack after another. The same could not be said of Sky's Chris Froome, who got nicked in the crossfire and faded from the top of the leaderboard. Alejandro Valverde of Movistar hung with the two leaders and the trio came in together, with Valverde taking Froome's spot on the virtual podium for the time being. Results:
- Antonio Piedra, Caja Rural
- Ruben Perez, Euskaltel, at 2.02
- Lloyd Mondory, AG2R, s.t.
- David de la Fuente, Caja Rural, s.t.
- Pablo Lastras, Movistar, at 2.07
- Joaquim Rodriguez, Katusha
- Alberto Contador, Saxo Bank, at 0.22
- Alejandro Valverde, Movistar, at 1.41
- Chris Froome, Sky, at 2.16
- Dani Moreno, Katusha, at 4.51
Photos © Fotoreporter Sirotti