WorldTour Top 5: Joaquim Rodriguez

Our tour of the current top five in the 2015 WorldTour individual rankings ends with the man who finished the year ranked number one in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Last but by no means least, it’s Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez.

Age: 35.

Ranking: 5.

WorldTour races: 5.

Points: 230 (120 in stage races, 110 in one-day races).

WorldTour results:

  • Tirreno-Adriatico: Two 3rd places (4 pts).
  • Vuelta al Pais Vasco: 1st overall, two stage wins, one 2nd place (116 pts).
  • Amstel Gold Race: 32nd (0 pts).
  • Fleche Wallonne: 4th (40 pts).
  • Liege-Bastogne-Liege: 3rd (70 pts).

Rather like his Spanish compatriot Alejandro Valverde, Joaquim Rodriguez is capable of producing big results in both stage races and one-day events, with his current total of 230 points split almost 50:50 between the two race types.

After easing his way into the season with appearances at the Dubai Tour and Tour of Oman, he has since competed only in WorldTour events (five in all). He was relatively quiet at Tirreno-Adriatico, where he registered a couple of third places in the mountains en route to 13th overall. But in the Basque country at Vuelta al Pais Vasco he was at his best, scoring two stage victories en route to the fifth stage race overall win of his career (all of which have come in Spain).

Ardennes Week didn’t go quite as he would have hoped, though. While Valverde finished second, first and first in the three races, J-Rod was a lowly 32nd at Amstel Gold, fourth at Fleche Wallonne (a race he won in 2012) and then third at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. In the latter two races, he lacked the punch to distance Valverde on the final climbs and then the sprint to truly threaten him in the dash for the line.

There’s ample time for Purito to reignite his season, though. After taking a few weeks off, he’ll be back for the Criterium du Dauphine ahead of a likely tilt at both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. And expect him to be a contender at both the Clasica San Sebastian and in particular the WorldTour finale Il Lombardia, which he won back-to-back in 2012 and 2013 to clinch his second and third WorldTour individual titles.

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