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" In the flat part at the feed zone before the Glandon I had a bad moment. It went fast and I could not take my feedbag so on the Glandon I paid for that. It was my goal to also take those 25 points."

Photo: A.S.O.

JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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23.07.2015 @ 19:18 Posted by Andy Pedersen

On a stage filled with seven climbs and plenty of points available for the mountains competition, Team Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez put himself in the break to sweep up the points in the early part of the day. At the end of the stage, the Spanish rider laid claim to the climber’s jersey.

 

“It was a hard day but I felt good and immediately went on the attack with the goal to take maximum points today. Everything went well but it was hard to control all riders in the break the entire day. In the flat part at the feed zone before the Glandon I had a bad moment. It went fast and I could not take my feedbag so on the Glandon I paid for that. It was my goal to also take those 25 points or even the stage win but it was over for me at that point. However, I won’t give up. There are two mountain stages to go and I will attack again. Fuglsang and Bardet will be motivated, too, but I will fight for it,” said team leader Joaquim Rodriguez.

 

"I'm happy and sad at the same time. I felt good today but the breakaway was hard to control because of the big number of riders in it. My goal was to pass first at the Glandon to take 25 KOM points but it hasn't been possible. I've had to close gaps all the time. I haven't managed to feed myself as much as I needed. I paid the price. It's a pity because it was a good day for another stage win. Now my goal will be to score a maximum of points to reach Paris with the polka dot jersey."

 

Stage 18 began in Gap and ended in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne at 186,5 km. The original break of 29 men went clear before the first climb and Rodriguez sprinted for mountain points to take the jersey from Chris Froome (Team Sky). Romain Bardet’s pursuit of the stage win gave points to him and the competition ended in a tie at the end of the day. However, “Purito” will wear the polka dot jersey because his points have come from higher-rated climbs than those of Bardet. 

 

Friday’s stage 19 from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to La Toussuire - Les Sybelles  at 138 km features four climbs, including the HC Col de la Croix de Fer (22,4 km at 6,9%) and the final climb up to La Toussuire. The category one finishing climb is 18 km at 6,1%.

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