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Joaquim Rodriguez

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Nickname  El Purito
2001–2003  ONCE-Eroski
Name  Joaquim Rodriguez
Weight  57 kg
Rider type  Climbing
Discipline  Road
2004–2005  Saunier Duval-Prodir
Height  1.69 m
Current team  Team Katusha
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Full name  Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver
Born  May 12, 1979 (age 36) Barcelona, Spain (1979-05-12)
2006–2009  Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears
Role  Professional Road Racing Cyclist

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Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (born May 12, 1979) is a Spanish professional road racing cyclist. He has been competing since 2001, and currently rides for the UCI ProTeam Team Katusha. His notable results in Grand Tours include fourteen stage victories, second place overall in the 2012 Giro d'Italia, finishing 2nd overall in the 2015 Vuelta a Espana, third place in the general classification of the Vuelta a Espana in both 2010 and 2012 and third place in the 2013 Tour de France. He also finished first of the UCI world rankings in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and won classics such as the Fleche Wallonne and the Giro di Lombardia twice (2012 and 2013). He also won stage races including the Volta a Catalunya twice (2010 and 2014), the 2015 Tour of the Basque Country and the 2011 Vuelta a Burgos.


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Personal life and early career

Rodriguez was born in Barcelona, the son of an amateur rider in the 1960s, and later lived in Parets del Valles. Some years later he moved to the Basque country to ride for Iberdrola, an amateur team associated to the professional cycling team ONCE-Eroski.

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His nickname in the professional peloton is Purito, Spanish for little cigar, a name he was given in an early season training camp during his first year as a professional with ONCE-Eroski. When some of his teammates stepped up the pace on a small climb, he passed them making a hand gesture appearing to be smoking a cigar, suggesting he was climbing without much effort. The gesture was not welcomed by his teammates, who made him smoke a real cigar as a hazing ritual later in the evening.

ONCE (2000–2003)

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In 2001 he turned professional with ONCE-Eroski after riding for the team in late 2000 as a stagiaire. In 2001, during his first season as a professional, he won the Escalada a Montjuic, a race held in Barcelona. In 2003 he won the sixth stage of the Paris–Nice, while he also won team time trials with ONCE-Eroski at the Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta a Espana.

Saunier Duval-Prodir (2004–2005)

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In 2004 he joined Saunier Duval-Prodir and won the Setmana Catalana de Ciclisme, a stage race held in Catalonia. The following year he won Subida a Urkiola and the Mountains classification of the Vuelta a Espana, while he finished second in the Clasica de San Sebastian and the Vuelta a Burgos.

Caisse d'Epargne (2006–2009)

After joining Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears in 2006, he won the fifth stage of the Paris–Nice. In 2007 he became the Spanish road race champion and also won the Klasika Primavera and Prueba Villafranca de Ordizia. In 2008 he won a stage to Montelupone at the third stage of Tirreno–Adriatico atop a 1.7 kilometers climb with sections over 20% in gradients which had many cyclists coming in after him get off and run while carrying their bikes or zig-zag up the climb since it was so steep, but he was one of the few who powered up the difficulty while riding a straight line. He also finished eight at the Amstel Gold Race, La Fleche Wallonne and Liege–Bastogne–Liege. Later in the season he finished sixth in the Vuelta a Espana. In 2009 he repeated his stage victory at Montelupone, in the Tirreno–Adriatico, while he ended second in the Liege–Bastogne–Liege. The second half of the season was marked by a stage win at the Vuelta a Burgos, a seventh place in the overall classification of the Vuelta a Espana and a bronze medal in the World Championships road race in Mendrisio.

Katusha (2010–)

In 2010 he joined the Russian team Team Katusha, which guaranteed him a position at the Tour de France and a leading role in certain races throughout the season. Early in the season Rodriguez won the Volta a Catalunya, the UCI ProTour race held around Catalonia, and later won the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain and a stage at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, where he eventually finished third. He also ended second behind Cadel Evans in the Fleche Wallonne. At the Tour de France he won the stage to Mende, which featured an uphill finish to the Cote de la Croix Neuve, with the finish line at the runway of the Mende Aerodrome. Rodriguez finished eight at the Tour de France. He continued his strong performance during the season with a fifth place at the Clasica de San Sebastian and a fourth place at the overall classification of the Vuelta a Espana, winning the stage to Pena Cabarga. Rodriguez topped the UCI World Ranking at the end of the season.


In 2011 he won a stage at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and finished second behind Philippe Gilbert at both the Amstel Gold Race and La Fleche Wallonne. He later finished fifth at the Giro d'Italia and won the stages to Le Collet d’Allevard and La Toussuire in the Criterium du Dauphine, where he won the points and mountains classifications and finished fifth overall. He skipped the Tour de France to concentrate on the races at the end of the season, mainly the Vuelta a Espana, where he was considered a possible candidate for winning the race. He started the second half of the season by finishing fourth at the Clasica de San Sebastian and winning the overall classification and a stage at the Vuelta a Burgos. He started the Vuelta with stage victories at Valdepenas de Jaen and San Lorenzo de El Escorial, where he captured the leader's jersey, but soon faded and eventually finished the race nineteenth overall. He ended the season with a third place at the Giro di Lombardia.


On 18 April 2012, he won La Fleche Wallonne in Belgium with a superb climb on the Mur de Huy and finished second in the Tour of the Basque Country. Rodriguez took his good form into the Giro d'Italia where he won two stages and finished second overall to Canadian Ryder Hesjedal. He was always competitive with the general classification contenders in the high mountains, and held the maglia rosa coming in to the final Individual Time Trial, where he lost 47 seconds to Hesjedal, therefore losing the overall lead by 16 seconds. However, he won the points classification jersey, with a slim lead of one point (139 to 138) over Mark Cavendish.

On the Vuelta a Espana, Rodriguez almost took the win on stage 3, but Alejandro Valverde popped up on his right to steal the victory in a photo finish, and snatched the red jersey. On the next stage, a big crash occurred involving Valverde. Rodriguez took the lead in the overall classification, arriving to destination with the remnants of the bunch atop the climb of the Orduna. He took the sixth stage, the majority of it was flat but the riders had to tackle with two Category 3 climbs near the conclusion, the line being situated atop the last one, the Fuerte del Rapitan in Jaca. With 500 m (1,600 ft) remaining, Chris Froome launched an attack which only Rodriguez could follow, before passing the Team Sky rider and grabbing both the victory and the twelve seconds bonus. The scenario repeated itself on stage 12, where Rodriguez escaped from the lead group with Alberto Contador in the final difficulty of the day, the very steep climb Mirador de Ezaro. The pair broke away in a section that had a gradient approaching 20%, and Rodriguez soon powered away from Contador to take his second stage of the Vuelta with an eight second margin over the Spaniard. On the mountainous stage 14, Rodriguez played the same trick on Contador again on the final climb, with Contador attacking with two kilometers to go and looking very likely to take the victory. Rodriguez got back to him, his rival attacked again and Rodriguez surged ahead to take the win. Disaster struck for him on stage 17, where Contador slipped into a breakaway and went on to win the stage solo, as Rodriguez could not respond and was relegated to third place overall. Despite his attacks on the penultimate stage in the steep climb of Bola del Mondo, Rodriguez could not improve his third placing although he gained some time on Contador.

Rodriguez went in Italy to compete in the Giro di Lombardia, where he had the opportunity to take the first place in the 2012 UCI World Tour detained by Bradley Wiggins. He did exactly that by winning the race under heavy rain and temperatures oscillating around 10 °C (50 °F). He attacked on the final difficulty of the day, the Villa Vergano climb. He arrived at the top of the difficulty alone and descended to Lecco, claiming the victory with a gap of 9 seconds.


In 2013, Rodriguez started his season winning stage 4 in the Tour of Oman, where he ended up finishing fourth overall. He later won stage five of the Tirreno–Adriatico and went on to finish fifth overall, after following an attack from Peter Sagan and Vincenzo Nibali on stage 6 and gaining time on his rivals. Rodriguez rode the Volta a Catalunya and Liege–Bastogne–Liege, where at both races he finished second behind Dan Martin. Rodriguez later aimed for a high finish in the Tour de France.

In the Tour, Rodriguez had a quiet start and after the first time trial on stage 11, Rodriguez was eleventh overall, over five minutes behind the race leader. Rodriguez picked up his form on stage 15 in which he finished fourth on Mont Ventoux, moving him into the top ten. He later finished third on the uphill time trial stage. On stage 18, he moved into the top five after finishing fifth on Alpe d'Huez, gaining a minute on race leader Chris Froome. On the mountainous stage 20 to Annecy-Semnoz, he finished second behind Nairo Quintana. However, Rodriguez managed to move into a podium position in the final general classification after gaining over a minute over Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger.

After the Tour de France, he took a long break and then came as the leader of Katusha at the start of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana, a race he twice finished on the podium in the past. One of the favorites at the start of the race, Rodriguez won the 19th stage and finished fourth in the overall classification, more than three minutes behind winner Chris Horner. Afterwards, he raced the World Championships, where he came short of winning the rainbow jersey, after being caught by eventual winner Rui Costa in the last kilometer. One week later, Rodriguez took revenge for his defeat at the Giro di Lombardia, winning for the second consecutive year with a perfectly timed attack on the Villa Vergano climb.


Rodriguez's first race of the season was the Tour de San Luis, where he finished 71st, without making an impact in the mountains. After this, Rodriguez went to the Dubai Tour and the Tour of Oman, where he eventually finished fourth, behind Chris Froome, Tejay van Garderen, and Rigoberto Uran. For the first time in four years, Rodriguez skipped Tirreno–Adriatico, choosing instead to prepare for the Ardennes Classics on the Teide. He then came back to racing in the Volta a Catalunya, where he won the third stage and the general classification, for the second time in his career. Rodriguez was forced to quit the Giro d'Italia after a serious crash in stage six where he suffered a broken rib and fractured thumb. He finished the Vuelta a Espana just off the podium, in fourth place overall.


Rodriguez started his season somewhat late and quietly by taking the thirteenth place Overall in Tirreno-Adriatico. He mounted on the third step of the podium twice in stages of that race. He had his first win of the season on a mountainous third stage of the Tour of the Basque Country, outsprinting Nairo Quintana and Sergio Henao after a descent in Zumarraga. He repeated his winning ways on the very next day, on the queen stage, winning the sprint after the final climb. In the final time trial, Rodriguez finished second overall to overtake race leader Sergio Henao by 13 seconds to win the Tour of the Basque Country. In the Ardennes Classics, Rodriguez finished fourth of the La Fleche Wallonne. He then took a podium spot at Liege–Bastogne–Liege as he was outsprinted by Alejandro Valverde and Julian Alaphilippe.

In the Tour de France, Rodriguez won the third stage finishing atop the Mur de Huy. "The Mur de Huy is something that I know extremely well — I’ve seen it before," said the Spaniard in reference to the difficulty being featured every year in the race La Fleche Wallonne. Rodriguez also won the twelfth stage atop the Plateau de Beille, his first Tour de France win on a mountain stage.

Grand Tour general classification results timeline

WD = Withdrew; In Progress = IP


Joaquim Rodriguez Wikipedia