He can be hard. Like a stone. Stubborn. Bones break but some souls stay always steady. Few witty words, a distant smile. Persistent. Purito Rodriguez was my favourite in the last Giro when he crashed out. A long recovery. An eluding riding at the back in the first fast stages of the Tour. "I'm not in the overall" he had said "Keep me for the last week." Waiting for the mountains and waiting for the form.
Pure class eluded by the big tours, for one reason or for another Rodriguez has never won any in spite he went many times close. This time the final victory is just no option. Make the best of it. Day by day. A beautiful stage can do. The Polka Dot Jersey - once already won - was not the goal but close enough so he went and took it. Crushing De Marchi's hopes - "All that hard work for nothing. For nothing!" De Marchi was very angry after it - The Planche Des Belles Filles was obviously a target for the GC contenders so hardly a target for stage hunters. Purito is an hard one so tried. He failed but got the Polka Jersey, so his failure was a big success. The first one on this hard Tour, not the last. I don't think so.