Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) has voiced his dismay at missing out on taking the red jersey at the Vuelta a España yesterday. The Spanish rider thought he had done enough to claim the overall lead, first by taking a time bonus at the first intermediate sprint and then by appearing to open a gap over Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in the closing metres of the stage.
Instead, the results of the opening intermediate sprint were nullified due to a large crash in the peloton which took place just before and then, after lengthy deliberation, the commissaires opted to award Anton the same time as Rodriguez for the stage, meaning that the Euskaltel-Euskadi man took the overall lead.
“I don’t know why I’m not the leader,” Rodriguez told AS after the stage finish at Xorret de Catì. “The team should lodge an appeal because on crossing the line I saw a big gap back to Anton but they gave us the same time.”
Rodriguez was also upset that the time bonus he thought he had gained 17km into the stage had been wiped out. “They also cancelled the sprint with the time bonus,” he said. “Look what happens when the judges aren’t meticulous. What they did was ugly but I just have to resign myself to it now.”
The Katusha rider now lies in second place overall, in the same time as red jersey Anton and in spite of his initial disappointment, Rodriguez was nonetheless pleased with his form on the climb of the Alto Xorret de Catì and excited about his possibilities for the remainder of the Vuelta. “I hope I can just maintain this form to Madrid,” he said.