How Joaquim Rodriguez became world number one – again


Joaquim Rodriguez celebrates victory on stage five of the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico after leaving some of the world’s best riders trailing behind (Pic: Sirotti)

With Chris Froome (Team Sky) having already asserted his early season dominance with victory in the previous day’s queen stage, the second and final mountain stage of the Race of the Two Seas allowed Rodriguez to gain his revenge.

Ninth the previous day, Purito found himself in a leading group alongside the likes of Froome, Saxo-Tinkoff duo Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Chris Horner (Radioshack-Leopard), Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and Bauke Mollema (Blanco) as they approached the summit finish.

The elite group of riders, led by Froome’s Sky team-mates on the early climbs, rode at a pace which soon dropped Peter Sagan (Cannondale) among many other contenders. But Rodriguez, dropped the previous day, was not to be denied again.

Rodriguez attacked on the final, ferocious climb and rolled across the finish line some eight seconds ahead of his nearest rivals with a grin on his face that underline his dominance on the day.

As if to highlight the point, Rodriguez joined an attack again the following day, bridging to join Nibali and Sagan on the technical, wet descent of Sant’Elpidio a Mare to finish third in the stage.

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