Rodriguez pins WorldTour hopes on winning Il Lombardia
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rodriguez pins WorldTour hopes on winning Il Lombardia

by Shane Stokes at 6:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro di Lombardia
 
Katusha rider closing on Wiggins, gunning to take series for second time

Joaquim RodriguezTwo years after he won the WorldTour series, Joaquim Rodriguez is aiming to scoop his second overall victory in the competition by scooping the lead from Bradley Wiggins on Saturday.

The Catalan rider finished third in the race last year and has the form to battle for the top slot. While his world championship ride last Sunday was unexpectedly quiet, it was sandwiched by three stage wins and third overall in the Vuelta a España plus fourth yesterday in Milano-Torino.

He has been named as Katusha team leader for Saturday’s Classic, which is punctuated by enough climbs to play to his explosive strengths.

He has two aims: the first is to win the race outright, while the second is to overcome his points deficit to Wiggins and lift the WorldTour trophy.

The British rider has had a superb season, taking WorldTour stage race victories in Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France. Those results have helped him amass a points total of 601, while Rodriguez is nine points further back.

Wiggins appeared out of form in the world championships, dropping out of the race.

Saturday’s winner will scoop 100 points, with the runner up netting 80 and then 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 and 4 being available for third to tenth.

Rodriguez will be backed by the in-form Alexander Kolobnev, one of the strongest in the finale of the world championships, plus Giampaolo Caruso, Vladimir Gusev, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Luca Paolini and Yuriy Trofimov.

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