Rodridguez withdraws from Il Lombardia
Joaquim Rodríguez, two-time winner of Il Lombardia and leader of Russian team Katusha, will not take the start in the last WorldTour race of the season in Italy, the team announced Saturday. Rodríguez injured his right knee while training on Friday, and the pain is preventing him from riding his bike, much less racing in Lombardy on Sunday.
“Yesterday morning, before leaving for Italy, I was doing a last training behind a motorbike. Just when I dropped from the motorbike, I did not notice a traffic signpost and hit it with my right knee,” Rodríguez said. “I did not crash, but immediately I felt a lot of pain. Fortunately, I was not far away from home, and I managed to arrive home by bike. In the evening, after my arrival in Italy, the pain was getting worse. My knee was swollen. It was even getting hard for me to walk. It is just impossible to race now. This is a real bummer. I was really motivated for this race.”
A first check by Katusha’s doctors revealed a large hematoma inside his right knee. An MRI will be performed in Spain to determine any further course of action. On Saturday afternoon Joaquim Rodríguez returned home and will be replaced by Jacopo Guarnieri in Sunday’s race.