Last Updated on March 25, 2022 by Bex Alderton
The Spaniard, Joaquim Rodríguez, was left devastated when Vincenzo Nibali razzed past him, thereby ending his dream to grab his second Tour de France stage victory. He also acknowledged that the Italian rider was faster than him and that it was not possible to overtake him. However, he was confident that more opportunities would come his way.
Rodríguez, who moved into the lead of the mountains classification, was aggressive right from the start and though, classification leader, Tony Martin, followed him closely, the Spaniard was always in the driving seat. The Katusha rider came to the Tour carrying injuries earned at the Giro d’Italia in May. With the next big target being Vuelta a España, Rodríguez and the team chose not to contest the general classification. Still, Rodríguez was confident of taking home the polka dot jersey.
Apart from winning a stage, he revealed his intention of fighting for the mountain classification. His compatriot and friend, Alberto Contador, crashed heavily during the stage, hitting a pothole and losing control on the wet roads. He had to abandon the stage with a fractured tibia. Rodriguez would face his fellow countryman at the Vuelta at the end of August. He also wished Alberto a speedy recovery.