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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) climbs toward victory
Spaniard will focus next on Vuelta a España
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) was happy to take his second win of the year in front of his parents Manuel and Manuela. He collected his victory atop Le Collet d'Allevard - last raced in 1992 when Colombia's Martin Farfan beat Charly Mottet - at the end of stage 6 of the Dauphiné. Earlier this season, he won stage 1 of the Volta al Pais Vasco.
"I'm retired now, so all I have to do is come here for the week and enjoy something like this," said Manuel Rodriguez to Cyclingnews at the finish. In the early 80s, Manuel was the directeur sportif of the Colchon CR team. He signed as a neo pro the famous Alvaro Piño, who eventually won the 1986 Vuelta a España and more recently directed the teams Kelme, Phonak and Xacobeo-Galicia.
"I'm more than happy with this win," Joaquim Rodriguez said to Cyclingnews. "This is a nice victory, but what fatigue it caused! I've suffered a lot. But this is what I came here for. I deeply wanted a stage win at the Dauphiné. Today I've found the right timing. To go solo with 5km to go was perfect."
Its his first participation in the Dauphiné during his 11-year long career. He was a last minute entrant, only one week after the Giro. "I was scheduled to ride the Tour de Suisse," he said, "but during the last week of the Giro, because I was coming out with good form, I decided with the management of Katusha that I'd better do the Dauphiné since there were four uphill finishes."
"It's been the right choice. I haven't had the right timing in the first stages, probably because I'm tired from the Giro, but I knew that this stage today was the one that suited me the most. I wanted to wait for the finale to attack."
Rodriguez was adamant that he still has more work to do in the race. "There's one more mountain stage remaining, and I'll fight for a top three overall," he said about stage 7 to La Toussuire on Sunday, when Bradley Wiggins will try to defend his race lead.
"The stage is pretty short though. It won't be easy to gain much time. The level of my rivals is very high. But I'll look at another stage win. After that, I'll be on holiday."
The Catalan rider, who was the world's number one in the UCI ranking last year, will not ride the Tour de France this year. He'll follow a fully Spanish program the rest of the summer with the GP Villafranca de Ordizia on July 25, followed by the Clasica San Sebastian, the Vuelta a Burgos and the Vuelta a España.