In one fell swoop, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team) won not only a stage of the 95th Giro d'Italia, but also assumed the lead in the fight for the maglia rosa.
The winner of this year's La Flèche Wallonne, Rodriguez took full advantage of a tough finish on Stage 10 in Assisi to narrowly separate himself from Bartosz Huzarski (Team NetApp) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar Team), who finished closely behind in second and third, respectively, and race leader Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin - Barracuda), who fought valiantly but relinquished his grasp on the pink leader's jerse ywith a sixth placed finish on the day.
“It was an important stage win especially for the bonus,” Rodriguez told Cyclingnews. “Some journalists told me about the finish here and I now realise that it is suited to me. When you get to a finish like this one you have to use it to your advantage.”
With eleven stages remaining there is ample time for each of the contenders to the throne to make up their deficits, but the Spaniard who climbs exceptionally well has certainly set himself up well to ride into Milan with the pink tunic on his shoulders.
Results - Stage 10 - Civitavecchia - Assisi (187km)
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team - 4:25:05
2. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp - 0:00:02
3. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
General Classification After Stage 10
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team - 40:27:34
2. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda - 0:00:17
3. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team - 0:00:32
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team - 0:00:52
5. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
6. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:00:57
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:01:02
8. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 0:01:03
9. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:01:09
10. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling - 0:01:10
Jersey Leaders After Stage 10
maglia rosa - Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
maglia rosso passione - Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
maglia azzurra - Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
maglia bianca - Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
Next: Assisi - Montecatini Terme (243km)
Photo: Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images
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