Rodriguez Takes Second Straight Giro di Lombardia
Joaquim Rodriguez has won his second consecutive Giro di Lombardia. The Spaniard powered away from the leaders’ group on the day’s last climb to win the rugged, 242-km Race of the Falling Leaves in 6:10:18. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took second at 0:17, and Rafal Majka (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) finished third six seconds later.
Martin, Majka, and Valverde chased, with the Spaniard leading the pursuit. With seven km left, Valverde had narrowed the gap to 0:08, but Rodriguez snatched back seconds in the following km. The Movistar man dropped his companions and set out after the Katusha rider.
He need not have bothered. Fired by his disappointment in the world road race championship, Rodriguez held the pursuit at bay. He thrust his arms aloft and smiled as he crossed the finish line in Lecco. Behind, Martin crashed on the race’s last turn, which allowed Majka to take third place unopposed.
The Giro di Lombardia’s history was part of what motivated Rodriguez to repeat as champion. “Honestly, I think this was a spectacular victory,” the Spaniard said. “‘Il Lombardia’ is one of the most important competitions of the season, a Monument Classic race, so I was very motivated and I wanted to encore the 2012 victory. I felt in great shape, so I attacked in the same place where I attacked last year. I was the favorite rider. I think everybody knew that was my strategy and waited for my action, but anyway nobody could follow me, so this incredible solo victory makes me really proud, also because now I’m first in the UCI World Tour Individual Ranking, a special classification I really care about. The leadership of the UCI World Tour Individual Ranking proves I took some great results anyway, and once again I was the most consistent rider. I want to thank my teammates. They worked all day in order to keep the race under control. The attempt by Thomas Voeckler was particularly dangerous because he had a good gap, but they did huge work leading the chase in order to neutralize it.”
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