Incredible triumph for Joaquim Rodriguez in the classic monument race “Giro di Lombardia”: the leader of Katusha Team was able to win the 107th edition of the Italian competition, encoring last year’s victory.
Purito crossed the finish line of the 242-km long course 17” ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), in second position; Rafa Majka (Saxo Tinkoff) completed the podium, 23” behind the winner.
Rodriguez was able to take this incredible solo win thanks to a great attack in the same place where he made the crucial attack during the 2012 edition, that is to say the steepest part of the last climb, Villa Vergano, a 3,3 km long uphill with an average incline of 7.4%, 11.7% in the last 700 meters: with nine km to go, the leader of Katusha Team joined the lead of the race, with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Ivan Basso (Cannondale) trying to make the difference.
Then, as soon as the slopes reached a demanding 16%, Purito made one of his traditional attacks, quickly establishing a 15” gap over the chasers that turned to be crucial. Majka, Valverde and Martin tried to chase him in the following descent and flat towards the finish line, but they couldn’t reach him.
Another rider of Katusha Team, Daniel Moreno, was protagonist of a good performance too: the Spanish rider took the 6th place, 55” far from the teammate.
Thanks to this victory, now Joaquim Rodriguez passed Chris Froome (Sky) as the leader of the UCI World Tour Individual Ranking: before the last WorldTour 2013 race Tour of Beijing the Spanish rider has 607 points, while Froome has 587 points. Third in the ranking Alejandro Valverde has 540 points.
“Honestly I think this was a spectacular victory – said PURITO – ‘Il Lombardia’ is one of the most important competition of the season, a Monument Classic race, so I was very motivated and I wanted to encore the 2012 victory. I felt in a 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 anyways nobody could follow me so this incredible solo victory makes me really proud, also because now I’m 1st 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 anyways and once again I was the most regular 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 a huge work leading the chase in order to neutralize it.