With an audacious win in Italian season-ending classic Giro di Lombardia, Katusha Team’s Joaquim Rodriguez scored his 10th win of the 2012 season and took over as the world’s #1 ranked rider in the UCI World Tour Rankings, with 692 points to beat Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins who had 601 points.
Riding a Canyon Aeroad CF 9.0 Katusha team bike, Rodriguez soloed to victory in the pouring rain at the Giro di Lombardia to become the first Spaniard to win the race in it’s 106 year history. Rodriguez attacked on the day’s final climb of the 3km, 7,4% average, 15% max Salite di Ello-Villa Vergano and was able to stay away from a strong chase group.
“This is the most important triumph of my whole career,” explained 33 year old Rodriguez post-race. “For me this has been a perfect season:
I won Fleche-Wallone, and I took the second in the Giro d’Italia and third place in the Vuelta a Espana. I had two goals at the Giro di Lombardia; to win this prestigious race and to take the lead in the UCI World Tour Ranking, and I managed both. So I’m really happy.”
Rodriguez said “It’s hard to know if I was the strongest rider over the course of the year, and Wiggins was certainly the best stage race rider,”
said Rodriguez, who finished on the podium of both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. “All I can say is that 2012 has certainly seen the best Joaquim Rodriguez yet.”
With the 2012 season over, Rodriguez looks forward to 2013, explaining “I have work to do in the time trial, as always,” he said. Rodriguez rides a Canyon Speedmax CF time trial bike and explains “I’ve improved an awful lot in the time test this year, but I still have to work a lot in the wind tunnel over the winter to make sure that what I’ve done to date doesn’t go to waste. In the mountains, on the other hand, I think I can compete with the strongest, and sometimes I’m the strongest myself.”