BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Germany's Jens Voigt won the rainy fourth stage of the USA Pro Challenge with a long solo effort Thursday, and American Tejay Van Garderen regained his tiebreaker edge for the overall lead.
Voigt, at 40 the oldest rider in the race, completed the 97.2-mile road race from Aspen in 3 hours, 54 minutes to win by nearly 3 minutes. The RadioShack-Nissan rider has 88th career pro victories.
Van Garderen, the BMC rider who grew up in Bozeman, Mont., and lives in Boulder, Colo., finished third in the stage — just behind German's Andreas Kloden of RadioShack-Nissan — and regained the race lead from Christian Vande Velde.
Vande Velde, the Garmin-Sharp rider from Lemont, Ill., and van Garderen have a 6-second lead over Russia's Ivan Rovny. Vande Velde was sixth in the stage.
"It's nice to have the (leader's) jersey, but I attacked more looking for seconds," said van Garderen, the top American in the Tour de France with a fifth-place overall finish. "So it's too bad I wasn't able to get time. But the jersey is always nice to have."
Voigt, who will turn age 41 next month, moved into a solo race lead early in the stage as the field began the climb to Independence Pass (elevation 12,500 feet). He rode alone in the lead for nearly four hours and for all but the first four miles of the stage.
The seven-day race continues Friday with a 117.9-mile stage 5 from Breckenridge to Colorado Springs road race. The largely downhill stage will begin with a 10-mile opening climb to Hoosier Pass at 11,500 feet. A few other small climbs will test the field but the long downhill finished will likely mean a sprint finish.
The 683-mile race will end Sunday with a short individual time trial in Denver.
JACA, Spain — Overall leader Joaquin Rodriguez extended his advantage over Christopher Froome and Alberto Contador by surging ahead on the closing climb to win Thursday's sixth stage of the Spanish Vuelta.
The Spanish cyclist stuck with Froome before coming around the last corner ahead of his Sky rival to secure a 5-second victory under a scorching sun.
Katusha rider Rodriguez needed 4 hours, 15 minutes, 56 seconds to win the 109-mile stage and extend his overall lead on Froome to 10 seconds.
"I went for it today, I didn't think anyone could surprise me," said Rodriguez, who has an overall time of 22:04:32. "Froome didn't think he could shake me, he was struggling. He practically helped me to the finish."
Contador, the 2008 champion, was 36 seconds behind in third. Colombian rider Rigoberto Uran finished in the same time as Contador to sit fourth overall, 42 seconds behind Rodriguez.
Contador, who missed the Tour de France because of a doping ban, became weary at the end.