Rodriguez in pink after winning Giro stage
Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez of the Katusha team has taken ownership of the leader’s pink jersey after winning the 10th stage of the Giro d’Italia.
The Catalan, a noted climber, finished two seconds ahead of Poland’s Bartsz Huzarski and Italian champion Giovanni Visconti at the end of Tuesday’s 186km ride from Civitavecchia to Assisi, which featured two short climbs in the closing 3500 metres.
Italian Domenico Pozzovivo took fourth place at 6sec, just ahead of Frenchman John Gadret and Canadian former leader Ryder Hesjedal.
Winner of the Fleche-Wallonne in April, Rodriguez showed all his explosive climbing abilities, leaving it until late on around the narrow streets of Assisi to reel in Dutchman Tom-Jelle Slagter to ensure his first Giro stage victory.
For the 33-year-old Rodriguez, it is the first time he has worn the leader’s jersey and he is a full 17sec ahead of Hesjedal, with Italian Paolo Tiralongo third at 32sec.
An early five-man breakaway built up a five-minute lead on the main peloton, but Hesjedal and his team reeled them back in 6.5km from the finish.
Italy’s Filippo Pozzato, who fractured his right wrist while causing a crash at the end of the ninth stage, did not start on Tuesday.
Pozzato collided with Australian ace Matt Goss on Monday, bringing both men down and forcing British sprint specialist Mark Cavendish to take evasive action but without apparently injuring himself.
Pozzato, the leader of the Farnese Vini team, later apologised for causing the crash.
Wednesday’s 11th stage sees riders tackle a 255km run from Assisi to Montecatini Terme, in Tuscany, on largely flat terrain with two climbs, the second coming 11km from the finish line.© AFP 2013