Joaquim Rodríguez ends season in UCI world ranking top spot
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Joaquim Rodríguez ends season in UCI world ranking top spot

by Bjorn Haake at 9:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro di Lombardia
 
Abandons Lombardy after 40km with slight health problems

joaquim rodriguezJoaquim 'Purito' Rodríguez ended the 2010 season 40 kilometers into today's Giro di Lombardia. Along with his pre-race admission that his form wasn't there anymore, the Spaniard also suffered from stomach problems.

"In addition to not being in optimal form for such a tough race, I had two days of diarrhea. That left me without strength," said Rodríguez, as he stepped off the bike and into the Katusha team car.

The Spaniard will still make it to the finish in Como, where this evening he will officially be named the winner of the International Cycling Union's world ranking title for the year 2010.

He earned this reward with consistent performances throughout the year, starting in Paris-Nice, where he finished sixth overall. He then won the Volta a Catalunya and the GP Miguel Indurain. In the Vuelta al País Vasco he took stage five from Eibar to Orio and finished third overall in the end. In Flèche Wallonne he showed he can also handle the Belgian classics calendar, getting second place there.

Top ten finishes of the overall classification in both the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France, where he also won stage 12 from Bourg-de-Péage to Mende, reiterated his potential as a stage racer. He followed that up with a fifth place in the Clasica San Sebastian, before closing out the season in style, finishing fourth in the Vuelta a España.

Rodríguez had already indicated three days ago that he won't be contending for the win in Lombardy. "I won't lie to you and tell you that I am very ambitious for the Giro di Lombardia and that I prepared it with the maximum effort, because it is not true," he wrote on his website. "I finished the Vuelta a España really tired, after a full season with 82 days of competition in my legs and my head."

The team wanted him to show up for the final race of the season, though. "It is the last ace that counts towards the UCI ranking and as the leader and virtual winner I had the obligation to be at the start in Milano." Rodríguez can now head into his well-deserved rest period.

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