Why every Joaquim Rodriguez win should be celebrated

Joaquim Rodriguez has cornered the market on bridesmaidery and for that, you should celebrate his wins. He deserves them more than most.

While Purito won a number of races last year, his season was defined by losing the Giro on the final day and being denied the Vuelta through a single moment of dosiness. This season has been much the same. He finished third in the Tour despite going AWOL for the first fortnight and then came fourth in the Vuelta.

He then got pipped at the post by Rui Costa in the World Championships last week and there appears to be lasting animosity between himself and Alejandro Valverde as a consequence of that race. Basically, Valverde, a Spanish team-mate, should have followed Rui Costa near the end, but there’s a suspicion that he allowed the Portuguese rider to go because they both race for Movistar.

At the end of the Giro di Lombardia, Rodriguez appeared to make some sort of gesture back down the road as he neared the line. It wasn’t the bird or the Vs or anything obious like that. It was more like a twisting ballet pose, but it did seem to be aimed at the rider who was about to roll in second – Valverde. Apparently the pair looked pretty frosty on the podium as well. I don’t know about that. It just looks awkward in the photos I’ve seen and awkward is what podiums are all about, so nothing new there.

How did Rodriguez win?

Same way as ever. Final ramp, climb faster than anyone else on the steep bit, hold your lead until the finish.

What happened to Domenico Pozzovivo?

Crashed in the closing kilometres, but fought his way back to the lead group. This may have tired him a bit though and he finished 15th, crashing again approximately one inch from the line. He appeared to lose his front wheel on a white line and slid for quite some distance.

What next?

Next week’s Tour of Beijing is technically in the top tier of stage races, but it would be hard to argue that if participation weren’t mandatory for all the main teams. Ain’t no party like a mandatory party.

The Tour of Beijing has been run twice and Tony Martin has won it both times.