Rodriguez announces retirement plans


Joaquim Rodriguez has announced he will retire from professional cycling after 17 years at the end of the 2016 season.

The Katusha rider has been a five-time podium sitter at the Grand Tours during his career, but he has never taken the top spot in the general classification - second places at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana his best finishes.

Mountains and points classification victories at the Giro and Vuelta respectively have come the way of the Spaniard, though, while he has won three individual stages at the Tour de France.

Those three stage success are part of 14 at the Grand Tours, while he tasted one-day success at the 2012 Fleche Wallonne.

"Thank you so much cycling, you have been, are and will be the biggest thing that went through my life," he posted on Twitter after announcing his decision on the Tour's first rest day in Andorra.

Rodriguez is currently leading Katusha's squad at the Tour, and sits fifth after the opening nine stages, trailing GC leader Chris Froome by 37 seconds.