Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez won the 12th stage of the Tour of Spain Thursday, a 190.5-kilometre (118-mile) course between Vilagarcia de Arousa to Dumbria, and held onto the overall race lead.

Rodriguez and Alberto Contador broke away from the peloton and rode wheel-to-wheel up the last stretch of a sharp ascent but Rodriguez surged past his compatriot on the final climb.

The 33-year-old Katusha rider completed the stage, which included a summit finish, in four hours, 24 minutes and 32 seconds, eight seconds ahead of 2008 Tour of Spain winner Contador.

Spain's Alberto Valverde finished third, 13 seconds behind the leader.

The stage win allowed Rodriguez to boost his advantage over his nearest rivals in the overall standings.

He is 13 seconds ahead of second-place Contador - who is back from a two-year drugs ban - and 51 seconds ahead of Britain's Christopher Froome, the runner-up at this year's Tour de France.

Valverde dropped to 1:20 behind Rodriguez after finishing third ahead of Robert Gesink of the Netherlands.

Friday's 13th stage takes the Tour peloton on a 172.8-kilometre ride from Santiago de Compostela to Ferrol.

The Tour finishes on September 9 in Madrid.

Source: Agencies