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Joaquim 'Purito' Rodríguez riding Cape Epic mountain bike race

Josh Cunningham
20 Mar 2017

Former rider doing the race in the colours of Bahrain-Merida

Joaquim Rodriguez is currently riding the legendary Cape Epic mountain bike race, in the colours of his employer, the Bahrain-Merida pro team. 

Rodriguez, who for months last year was the subject of much speculation as he decided whether or not to continue his career as a rider, eventually joined Bahrain-Merida form Katusha, and currently works within the team as a member of the technical and mentoring staff. During his riding career he notched up five GC podiums at Grand Tours, and won both La Fleche Wallonne and Il Lombardia.

The race is a paired mountain bike race running from the 19th-26th March in South Africa, and Rodriguez is partnered with fellow Spaniard Jose Hermida, who won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics for mountain biking.

'I have had a fantastic start working with the Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team and I am looking forward to get involved in one of the biggest mountain bike events in the world,' said Rodriguez before the start. 'I am highly motivated and appreciated the opportunity to team up and to learn from José, one of the top mountain bike racers in the world. Our goal is to perform at the highest possible level, and our recent physical shape should put us in a very competitive position. But above all we want to have fun and enjoy this new adventure.'

The pair were 45th in the prologue, coming in almost 15 minutes down on the winners, but after the first stage - a 101km effort with 2,300m of climbing - have moved up to 30th overall. 

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