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"My attack at 4 km from the finish was not just a test, it was really a try to win. I didn't know this climb but (team director) José told me on the radio that we were on the steepest part of the climb, so I gave it a t...

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14.06.2015 @ 22:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The final race winner only emerged on the last day in the 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné and the general classification took on one last re-shuffling with Team Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez moving into eighth place for the overall. His bold efforts on stage 8 into Modane showed solid progress in the week of racing and predict good things to come from the team leader for the Tour de France in three weeks.

 

"My attack at 4 km from the finish was not just a test, it was really a try to win. I didn't know this climb but (team director) José told me on the radio that we were on the steepest part of the climb, so I gave it a try. Unfortunately there were still too many hard working riders for Team Sky. They still saw their chance to win the overall with Chris Froome. The only thing I could do was to wait. Later, honestly, when he attacked, I could not follow him but I finished this race with a very positive feeling. I improved every day, I did not crash and I moved up some places in the GC. Now it is less than three weeks to the Tour de France. The most important thing now is first to recover well because these were eight demanding days. After a quiet week I will work again very hard on training and will be heading to the Tour," said team leader Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez.

 

Rodriguez increased his speed around a steep corner with 4,5 km to go and moved clear for a few moments before the group with leader Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Chris Froome (Sky) came back to him. Next it was time for Froome to go and with 2,5 km remaining he put in his attack with some response from van Garderen, but not enough to stay on the wheel. Froome took the stage win by 18-seconds to Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida). Rodriguez was fifth at 28-seconds. Froome’s win put him in the final leader’s jersey, giving him the overall by ten seconds to van Garderen and 1.16 to Costa. Joaquim Rodriguez was 8th at 3.06.

 

"I am happy with what I saw at this Dauphiné. Every day I saw that Joaquim was better and better and his condition continued to grow and he improved a lot during this race. His big goal is the Tour in July and I think he’s on the right path for this. Some other riders that look forward to the Tour also showed improved conditions as the race went on. With his two fifth place finishes, Joaquim also took valuable WorldTour points as we are trying to be the number one team. It’s important to see that the riders came here in good condition and performed well on every stage. They showed good team spirit and focus. I’m happy with the performance and the attitude of the team," said team director José Azevedo.

 

The 156,5 km final stage began in Saint-Gervais. A courageous solo move by Tony Martin (Ettix – Quick Step) with 75 km to go was brought back by a chasing group at under 20 km to go. From this group MTN-Qhubeka’s Stephen Cummings made a move that was neutralized by the late attack of Froome.

 

"Between now and the Tour, “Purito” will continue training. He’s is not yet at his top shape, but after this race he knows where he is and during this next three weeks he will finish up his work to arrive at the Tour in top shape. I am confident that in the Tour Joaquim is going to be in the front of the race," concluded director Azevedo. 

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