After a solitary finish, in the uphill stretch of Vallnord in Andora, Alberto Contador from Saxo Bank, became the winner of the 3rd, the ‘royal’, stage of Volta a Catalunya. He was better by 23 seconds than Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), who came to the finishing line with Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack). The highest ranked CCC Polsat Polkowice cyclist is the Portuguese Jose Mendes, who arrived at the finishing line in the 33rd place, over 2 minutes adrift of the winner.
Five climbs were situated along the route of the fifth, royal stage, which was 183.9 kilometres long, and ended with the finishing line at the 8 kilometre-long uphill stretch of Vallnord in Andora. At the 8th kilometre of the route, right before the first climb of category1 in Alt De Coubet, six cyclists attacked out of the peloton, among them: Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank), Nairo Quintana Rojas (Colombia es Pasión), Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil), Minard (AG2R), Jose Vicente Toribio Alcolea (Andalucía-Caja Granada) and Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Cervélo). The escaping six cyclists quickly built up their advantage over the peloton, that was over seven minutes.
Right after the final uphill stretch, thanks to hard work of the Saxo Bank team which imposed a very quick pace, the breakaway was eliminated. The beginning of the uphill stretch was relatively mild, and after covering 2 kilometres there were still 50 cyclists in the peloton, among them the CCC Polsat Polkowice cyclist Jose Mendes. When there were about 4 kilometres left before the finishing line Alberto Contador attacked and relatively quickly he gained advantage over the peloton. Scarponi and Leipheimer started a pursuit, however they did not manage to catch up with the Spaniard, who crossed the finishing line of stage 3 alone, with an advantage of 23 seconds, in the 33rd place.
By winning stage 3 Albert Contador took the leading in the general classification of the race and is 23 seconds better than Leipheimer and Scarponi.
Jose Mendes is holding the 32nd place in the general classification, 2 minutes and 10 seconds adrift of the leader.In the 76th place there is Tomasz Marczyński, 11 minutes and 47 seconds behind Contador.
The results of stage 3 – La Vall d’En Bas – Andorra-Vallnord, 183.9 km
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 4:45:31
2. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:00:23
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack
33. José Mendes (Por) 0:02:10
70. Tomasz Marczynski 0:09:01
133. Marek Rutkiewicz 0:16:55
138. Adrian Honkisz
141. Mariusz Witecki
143. Błażej Janiaczyk
145. Łukasz Bodnar
147. Jacek Morajko