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Rodríguez: I had played my card

Alasdair Fotheringham
April 21, 2013, 23:30,
April 22, 2013, 00:34
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, April 22, 2013
Liège - Bastogne - Liège
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) attacked with just over 1km to go

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) attacked with just over 1km to go

  • Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) attacked with just over 1km to go
  • Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) leads Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp
  • Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) faces the media
  • Rodriguez, Martin and Valverde make up the Liege-Bastogne-Liege podium

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Second for second time at Liège, Spaniard outgunned by Martin

"I had done my attack, I had played my card," Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) told Cyclingnews after he finished second for the second time in his career at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. And once he had played that card, the Spanish all-rounder said he just could not stop Daniel Martin (Garmin Sharp) from attacking just before the final left-hand bend into Ans.

"Making that last move and attacking from the break was the one strategy I had to try and get away, and it almost worked out. I tried it in the right place. But I knew that Dan was a very strong opponent, we've run into each other a lot of times before" - most recently at the Volta a Catalunya, where Martin beat Rodriguez by 17 seconds - "and as soon as he came across I knew it was going to be tough."

"I can be disappointed, but I was at my limit, Daniel was stronger and that was all there was to it." He actually initially thought it was Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) bridging across "and I thought I'd have a better chance in the sprint. When I realised it was Martin, and I saw how easily he'd reached me, I realised he could beat me, too."

Injured at Amstel Gold, to his credit Rodríguez refuses to play the game of 'ifs' and 'buts' when it comes to racing in Liège and his performance there - and when discussing the race, he does not even mention that injury to Cyclingnews. He also played down the importance of Ryder Hesjedal's late attack in Garmin's winning strategy, saying "by that point in the game at Liège-Bastogne-Liège we were all pretty exhausted. In a three-week Tour, you can point to one mistake or another in terms of strategy, but that's not the same in a Classic like Liège. There comes a point where you've either got it or you haven't. The race was different because of the Roche aux Faucons being changed for that new climb, but we just had to give what each of us had and see what happened."

The 2012 UCI WorldTour winner Rodríguez is now heading to Silverstone in Great Britain to the Formula One circuit's windtunnel, to try and improve his position in time trialling for the grand tours.

"That's the main reason for going there, but as it happens I've never been to Britain, so I'm very keen to see what it's like as a country," he added. After that Purito will take a break before building up for his next big challenge, the Tour de France - the only grand tour in which he has yet to take a podium finish and after the Ardennes his big goal for the season.

del690 More than 1 year ago
I like this Dude.
boshadyn More than 1 year ago
A real nice guy,i love to see him RACE,never an excuse,and happy in any conditions.
William Gilliland More than 1 year ago
its such a shame he didnt win the Vuelta last year
fujisst More than 1 year ago
? Don't get it - why is it "a shame" when rider is beaten by a better, stronger rider? Sentimentality is for golfers or bowlers.
ceramiccyclist More than 1 year ago
Did anyone read his interview in Procycling magazine a while back? Very unequivocal about doping too, unlike some of his compatriots.
BAD_44 More than 1 year ago
a real class act. Smart rider. Always seems to be in the mix. Gotta respect that, and yes I agree with ceramiccylist concerning the interview.
Eric Arts More than 1 year ago
Rodriguez is becoming the consistent number 2. Hesjedal keeps putting in strategic attacks and yet, no respect. Rodriguez is probably still fuming about last year's Giro.
Andrea Cerri More than 1 year ago
I agree, he got his fair share of delusions but he never complains.
fujisst More than 1 year ago
Dime-store psychologists. Funny to the end...
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Tour de France 2013