Joaquim Rodriguez didn´t manage to keep the pink jersey in the last stage of “Giro d´Italia”, a 29 kilometers long ITT around Milan: the Spanish rider, after keeping the leadership of general classification for nine days, had to give up to Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) for just 16´´. The Canadian rider did a great race against the clock: he took the sixth position, 1´09´´ far from Marco Pinotti (BMC) the daily winner. ´Purito´, in a kind of race not suitable to his characteristics, was protagonist of a good performance anyways: he lost just 47´´ to the winner of “Giro d´Italia”. Rodriguez, thanks to this time, was able to take the second place in general classification, and to win the red jersey for the first position in the special point classification. Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil), winner of yesterday´s stage, completed the podium.
“Our Katusha Team reached a very big success at one of the most prestigious races around the world – Giro d’Italia. Katusha’s rider for the first time in the history of our team took the final podium of a Grand-Tour, became vice-champion of the race! During Giro d’Italia we saw new Katusha Team – truly leader of world’s cycling. Don’t hide, it was a pleasure to follow Russian team, which rode an excellent race in the leader’s style from the beginning in Denmark and till the finish in Milan. We could get really strong and powerful results – we won 2 stages, took 6 more prize-winning places, we won the Red jersey, for 10 days we were in the Pink jersey. I would like to congratulate the whole Katusha Team, all riders and management with so nice exhibition in Italy, with really fine results. No doubt, at the moment, with just few minutes after the finish we still feel a little smack of bitterness because of just 16 seconds from the victory and the Pink jersey. But, that’s cycling. A real sport! At the highest level I appreciate performances of Katusha Team and Joaquim Rodriguez at Giro d’Italia, and I proud that our Russian Global Cycling Project could get such great results, – commented Igor MAKAROV, the head of the Russian Global Cycling Project, president of Russian Cycling Federation, president of the Board of Directors of MGK ITERA.
“I´m sorry because we fought for win all 21 days long – said the Katusha Team´s leader – the team worked hard and great, and I think I did a good final ITT too: unfortunately, Ryder was better than me, so congratulations to him, he deserved this victory. The gap between us is very poor, but it´s useless to think now of when I lost this competition, whether I could do something better or not: that´s cycling, everyday is important, we did our best but Hesjedal was great. Now we have to think about our future: we did a great ´Giro´, we must continue to work and train like this, because that´s the good path“.