Tirreno stage win means that Rodriguez is now considering riding Giro d’Italia
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Tirreno stage win means that Rodriguez is now considering riding Giro d’Italia

by Shane Stokes at 8:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Catalan had previously said that he’d miss race to focus on Tour de France

Joaquim RodriguezSpeaking in the wake of an impressive stage win yesterday in Tirreno-Adriatico, Joaquim Rodriguez has said that he is now seriously considering disputing the Giro d’Italia this season.

The Katusha leader had previously said that the Tour de France would be his big focus and that because of that, he would miss the Italian race for the first time since 2010. He was fourth in the Giro d’Italia in 2011 and runner-up last year, then didn’t go on to compete in the Tour de France.

Although he’s never ridden the Giro and Tour in the same season, he’s now apparently considering doing both.

“Yes, I could be in the Giro d'Italia,” he said after yesterday’s victory, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. “In Spain a new passion is emerging for your race. There is a great interest in it. Doing the Giro always given me good things, it's beautiful. And I love Tirreno-Adriatico.”

Rodriguez has gone close to winning a Grand Tour but has not yet done so. After netting second in last year’s Giro, he went close to taking the overall victory in the Vuelta a España. He led the race for many days and reinforced his lead with three stage wins, but weakened on stage seventeen and was bumped out of the red jersey by Alberto Contador. He ended up third overall.

He’ll keep trying to take a three week race, while also continuing to pick up wins in the races which suit him. He’s particularly good in explosive finales: short, sharp climbs where his high power to weight ratio can pay off. Being under 60 kilos helps with that, but so too a lot of work. “It means that I am the strongest in these finales. A little like Cancellara or Martin in the time trial and Cavendish in the sprint. Maybe it seems easy, simple. Instead, talent and natural features are not enough. Behind these successes, there are also a lot of work.”

He said that he’ll try again today, even though he believes that his deficit of 55 seconds to Chris Froome means that he’s unlikely to win overall. Another stage victory would please him, though, and so he said he’ll ride aggressively.

“I have nothing to lose, and the last slope is 10 kilometers from the end. So I can try a long range attack. It will be a battle. Froome is going strong, but it is fortunate to have a great team such as Sky. He is the favorite to win the overall, but he must be careful. Twenty seconds in the time trial could be sufficient over Contador, but I don’t know about Nibali.”

After Tirreno-Adriatico, Rodriguez is scheduled to ride the Volta a Catalunya, the Amstel Gold race, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour de Romandie. He was then due to ride the Tour de Suisse before the Tour, but if he opts for the Giro then there could well be changes.

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