Mikel Nieve claims Spanish Vuelta stage

Updated: September 13, 2010, 1:19 PM ET
Associated Press

COTOBELLO, Spain -- Mikel Nieve of Spain won the 16th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Monday and Joaquin Rodriguez regained the overall lead.

Nieve secured his first career stage win by finishing the grueling 112.7-mile ride in 4 hours, 51 minutes, 59 seconds. The Euskaltel Euskadi cyclist pulled away late to ride alone up the Cotobello summit to the finish.

Frank Schleck of Saxo Bank was 1 minute, 6 seconds back, while Kevin de Weert was third.

Rodriguez was fourth but took the leader's red jersey for the second time by moving 33 seconds ahead of overnight leader Vincenzo Nibali. Rodriguez has an overall time of 70:24:39.

Ezequiel Mosquera of Spain finished sixth Monday and is 53 seconds behind Rodriguez in third. Schleck is 2:16 back in fourth.

Tuesday is a rest day before Wednesday's 28.6-mile time trial.

"I know Nibali is a lot stronger than me in that event, so I'll just try to lose as little time as possible," Rodriguez said.

The 21-stage race ends Sunday.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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