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Alasdair Fotheringham

Carlos Rodriguez battles crash injuries to secure fifth overall in Tour de France

Carlos Rodriguez fought to finish stage 20 despite a nasty crash

Carlos Rodríguez will complete his first Tour de France in Paris with a stage win and a fifth place overall, confirming at just 22, that he is the latest young talent to confirm his Grand Tour credentials.

Rodríguez was fourth overall and set to battle for a podium place  against former Ineos teammate Adam Yates on stage 20. However, Rodríguez crashed hard early in the stage, in a re-run of his bad luck in the third week of the 2022 Vuelta a España. 

Rodríguez finished seventh overall in the 2022 Vuelta, albeit with his arms swathed in  bandages from a fall on the stage to El Piornal. This time round in the Tour the Ineos Grenadiers rider dropped a spot on GC on the last mountain stage after his front tyre apparently exploded on the first descent of the stage. He suffered multiple cuts and bruising to his face and body and could hardly talk at the finish.

“I was unlucky that on the descent off the first climb something happened to my front wheel, and a spoke broke,” Rodríguez said. 

“So it started to shake and on a bend, my bike went out of control.”

After such a major crash just 30 kilometres in, Rodríguez had to fight to stay in the top five on GC, rather than battle for the podium. 

He was dropped on the last climb and crossed the line 52 seconds down on Simon Yates and 45 seconds down on Adam Yates, dropping from fourth to fifth overall, with Simon Yates moving above him.

“My teammates couldn’t have helped me more, they supported me brilliantly, particularly [Omar] Fraile and [Tom] Pidcock. But it wasn’t enough.”

“We’ll try it again next year and do it better,” Rodríguez concluded.

The question of where Rodríguez will be racing next year remains uncertain. Rumours persistently suggest he will join Movistar for 2024, but Rodríguez is taking things very diplomatically for now, telling reporters who asked him a couple of weeks ago. “Ask my agent.”

Wherever he races, a fifth place in his Tour debut and a stunning stage win at Morzine have confirmed that Rodríguez is a future GRand Tour contender. 

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