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Joaquim Rodriguez retires after 2016



This comes as somewhat a surprise to me, although 37 he has maintained his competitiveness at the highest level right up to now (sans 2016 to date) whereas the retirements of peers such as Evans and Basso were preceded by extended periods of decline.

After so much success in his 30s you only have to wonder how many victories of note he would have amassed had he reached his peak earlier (or had fewer domestic responsibilities). No doubt I'm one of many who thinks that Purito has been a blight on races for years, with peak annoyance for me probably around 2012 (I distinctly recall making a comment "does anyone even like Purito anymore?") as he progressed from plucky stage winner popping up occasionally to an unstoppable force, a perfect scapegoat for uninspiring racing.

His departure leaves a void for others to step into which would be magnified if Valverde also departs in the next couple of seasons.

A daring win in Rio would be a farewell, fitting or otherwise, but maybe the retirement already signals how unlikely that would be.
Aug 31, 2012
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Ended up underachieving, could have easily won a Giro, a Vuelta and the Worlds RR with a bit more luck. Still, he's won two monuments and several week long stage races, won stages in every GT and, among many other notable podiums, podiumed all GTs.
Talk about a man who had a great career but could've had a perfect one. Won a lot of great races, but ended up losing the greatest of them. May not have been the most agressive GT rider, but was a often a delight to see in many other races. He deserved better than what he got between the 2012 Giro and Vuelta and the 2013 WCRR. Purito is a gracious loser though, I have a lot of respect for that. This small man will leave a large hole in the peloton

Goodbye Purito, you had amazing career.
When Purito was at his best a Mountain Top Finish was always worth watching - he would light it up, even if he didn't win. Sad about his TT at the Giro, else he would retire with the Giro on his Palmares.

Hopefully he can frighten Froome and others over the next 2 weeks.

Ferminal said:
Nah I'm actually interested in a discussion regarding his legacy, not what he's having for dinner tonight.

As a top 10 rider of the decade I think that is appropriate.

His legacy? One of the 4 (3?) very dominant spanish rider in the peloton, extremely consistent, but lacked winning big. He lost in 2012 due to being a coward, I obviously cheered for him against Hesjedal, but that was kinda depressing to watch those last stages. But I really felt with him when lost the Vuelta in 2012, he was by far the dominant climber in that race and I really wish he woulda at least won one GT like Valverde.

But he will probably always stay in the shadow of Valverde and Contador because he failed to win the big ones, unlucky or not.

Ferminal said:
Nah I'm actually interested in a discussion regarding his legacy, not what he's having for dinner tonight.

As a top 10 rider of the decade I think that is appropriate.

It's clear you fancy him, but if people start creating threads of riders they like to discuss something specific about them, then they're gonna spam all the forum. There's a specific thread in this section of the forum about Rodriguez and IMO this should be there.
Aug 16, 2013
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For me, it's not about the rider Purito. There are many cyclist who are way more agressive. For me, it's about the person Joaquim. One of the best guys around in the peloton: a lot of humour, refreshingly honest and just a normal guy. He's one of the most popular guys in the peloton.

And i liked his explosive attacks in the classics, GT's and stage races. He did lose a lot of big races, but always in a beautifull way. Purito resembles what sport is about: winning great, even more gracious in defeat, and always up there. He's isn't a Skybot. And he's one of the very few who is (was) good all year: fighting for the win from Oman till Lombardia. Like Valverde does for more then a decade. Only for that reason i can love him.

He fought with the tools he had: 110% dedication for his sport. His passion.

Thanks for all the great memories Purito! And it's not over yet! You still have to become Olympic Champion! :)
When was that pic taken, the referee one? Thats epic. I love me some Rodriguez, sad to see him leave, I will always remember those 4 Spaniards that I grew up with. Obviously Valverde being my number 1, after Courchevel 2005, then Contador and Rasmussen fighting in the Pyrenees in 2007 (probably my most vivid cycling memory after Valverde's mano a mano against Armstrong), then Sanchez and Rodriguez 'suddenly' started to play on the big scene a lot more regularly from around 2008. I will never forget the 2012 Vuelta, at a point where I had lost all interest for cycling since 2011 when Valverde was banned, Sky began with their miracles, Antón fell and failed left and right... it brought me into cycling again, the 3 legends, duking it out murito after murito. Purito was the strongest, he could realistically have won 5-6 stages, but fell short. Too bad Valverde lost that early time, he climbed and rode superbly that year also.

He was the best rider in the peloton in 2012, sad for him and his fans that he didn't capitalised.