Rodriguez wins stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico 2013
Katusha Team's Joaquim Rodriguez secured his team an important stage victory when he fired on all engines on the final climb and left all other favorites behind.
The victory was his team's first WorldTour victory after the team was finally granted ProTour status after a battle with the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Team Sky Pro Cycling's Christopher Froome (Great Britain) finished 6th in today's 230 kilometer stage and in the process also took the overall Tirreno-Adriatico lead when former leader Michal Kwiatkowski of Omega Pharma-Quick Step got left behind.
Stage winner Rodriguez is known for his immense power on steep climbs such as today's 15 percent gradient climb to the finish line. Rodriguez was very happy for his team and proud of his strong performance in today's stage.
"I'm very happy for this performance. It was very important both for me and for the team, since it's our first in a WorldTour race. I remember very well the final part of this stage and it's an incredibly tough stretch. We were very careful from the beginning to the end, because we knew it was very difficult to win here in Chieti. Everyone was expecting something from me, they know these finals are my specialty."
"Tomorrow there will be another long, demanding stage. We're no longer trying to win the final classification, but we will try to take home a good result anyways."
Team Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Kwiatkowski lost the leader's jersey today and described today's stage in the following manner.
"Today I was pretty good but in the final I really suffered," Kwiatkowski said. "I tried to resist as long as I could, staying on the wheels, but when Froome and Contador accelerated on the steepest part of the climb I lost contact. I struggled and I fought to not lose too much time. Considering the circumstances and the riders who are in front of me, I'm happy with my performance."
"We (Team Sky) started riding with about fifty kilometer to go on the Lanciano, to put pressure on the leader's jersey. For the final two climbs the plan was to put some distance between myself and Kwiatkowski. On the final climb, it was every man for himself," new race leader Froome explained.
"One thing I’ve learnt from racing the likes of Contador is that it’s not over until it’s over. Some days he’ll probably take time from me and other days I’ll probably take time from him. His style of racing is also to pick up the bonuses and he’s doing a good job," Froome added.
Tomorrow's stage 6 of the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico sends the peloton from Porto Sant'Elpidio to Porto Sant'Elpidio. The stage will feature more than twenty hills and notably the riders will have to battle the 365-meter Sant’Elpidio al Mare climb three times - the climb averages no less than 19.8 percent.