Joaquim Rodriguez won his second stage at this year’s Tour de France on Thursday with a solo victory in stage 12.
It was a mountain-filled agenda which took the peloton over 195 km from Lannemezan to the Plateau de Beille in the Pyrenees.
Rodriguez got himself into the day’s main breakaway group which initially involved some 22 riders.
But over the course of the day that group was whittled down to a handful of men with 75 kilometres to the line.
Michal Kwiatkowski of the Etixx-Quickstep team led the charge but it was not to be his day on the top step of the podium.
With just over 8km to go and the rain lashing down Rodríguez made his move.
Whilst overall race leader Chris Froome did a fine job holding off his title rivals’ attacks behind Spain’s Rodriguez surged out in front on the final climb – the hors-catégorie Plateau de Beille – and stormed over the line for victory.
Noone could put a chink in Froome’s lead as he sprinted to the line ahead of all his rivals bar Alejandro Valverde.
Nonetheless the British Sky rider still holds a two minute and 52 second lead over American Tejay Van Garderen and over three minutes clear of Colombia’s Nairo Quintana.
Friday’s stage 13 moves the peloton on from the Pyrenees with a 198.5km trek from Muret to Rodez northeast of Toulouse.
A stage that will likely finish in a mass sprint to the line.