Rodriguez wants to leave Katusha, three year deal reportedly offered
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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rodriguez wants to leave Katusha, three year deal reportedly offered

by Shane Stokes at 7:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
BMC Racing Team denies speculation about contract bid

Joaquim RodriguezFollowing weeks of uncertainty after the Katusha team was refused WorldTour licence registration for 2013, it seems that the patience of the world number one rider Joaquim Rodriguez has finally ran out and he has decided to leave the team.

According to El Pais, the Catalan rider has instructed his agent Angel Edo to move on an offer from another squad, with a three year deal at a higher salary level apparently being offered to him. The name of that team has currently not been disclosed.

The high salary level has led to speculation about which squads could be involved. Some have put forward the name of the BMC Racing Team, both due to its high budget plus also the fact that it has not reached the UCI limit of riders.

However the team has told VeloNation that this speculation is not accurate, and that it is not seeking to add any more riders to its lineup for 2013.

“The BMC Racing Team's roster is complete,” a team spokesman confirmed today. “The team will be introduced Friday afternoon in Belgium. There are no Spanish riders on it.”

Katusha has applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in order to try to overturn the decision of the UCI’s Licence Commission. However while Rodriguez had signed an extended contract with the team, UCI rules mean that he is able to leave the squad in the event of it having been denied a place on the WorldTour.

He initially said that he would wait until Katusha was able to try to overturn the decision, but now his patience has run out. According to El Pais, the explanations given thus far by the team’s new general manager Viatcheslav Ekimov are unconvincing and Rodriguez is not willing to hold on any longer.

The rider is apparently seeking a guarantee from the UCI that he will remain able to leave the team even if CAS overturns the Licence Commission’s decision.

El Pais adds that although he has been sent the plane tickets, Rodriguez no longer wants to travel to the Tour de San Luis, his designated first race of the season. The Argentinean event is due to begin in twelve days’ time.


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