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Rodríguez climbs to top ranking; will skip worlds

Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) climbed to the top spot in the latest UCI world rankings, but cited fatigue and will not race the world championships in Australia next month

Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) climbed to the top spot in the latest UCI world rankings, but cited fatigue and will not race the world championships in Australia next month.

Rodríguez, hot off a stage win and fourth overall at the Vuelta a España, knocked Alberto Contador out of first place in the UCI ranking system. Ryder Hesjedal and Tyler Farrar slotted into eighth and ninth, respectively.

“I was really motivated to go to the worlds, but I’ve had a very saturated season and I have accumulated a lot of physical and mental stress from the Vuelta,” Rodríguez said. “I want to be honest with myself and with my teammates and see that the best thing for the team is to renounce and leave my spot to a rider who can do it better than me.”

Rodríguez, who claimed bronze in last year’s worlds at Mendrisio, will be replaced by Ruben Plaza on the powerful Spanish squad.