The performance of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on the final stage of the Giro d’Italia was arguably the Spaniard’s finest against the clock.
It wasn’t enough to keep him in the leader’s jersey on the most crucial stage, but today’s timed effort, in which he rode to seventh, 1.16 down on winner, Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) was.
The Spaniard leads the race by one second from countryman, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) who leapfrogged Britain’s Chris Froome (Team Sky) who was third on the stage and is now third in the race.
Tomorrow’s largely flat stage ends with the type of short, stubborn climb on which Rodriguez thrives. With Contador talking up his prospects for the high mountain stages that begin later this week, will ‘Purito’ produce another show of defiance tomorrow?
Here are images of the action from today’s stage from official UCI WorldTour photographer, Stefano Sirotti.
Third overall at the start of the stage, Contador was the third from last to start. He finished second
Chris Froome raced in the white jersey of leading rider in combined categories. He finished third, but is just 16 seconds off the overall lead
Philippe Gilbert shows the style that has made him time trial champion of Belgium to finish 15th, 1.57 down on Kessiakoff
The Swede raises his arms in triumph to celebrate the biggest win of his career
Perhaps the only man more delighted than Kessiakoff was Rodriguez, who held the red jersey by the slimmest of margins