Injured Rodriguez confirms he’ll defend Flèche Wallonne title, but plays down chances
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Injured Rodriguez confirms he’ll defend Flèche Wallonne title, but plays down chances

by VeloNation Press at 11:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Flèche Wallonne, Injury
Catalan says Amstel crash has affected his form, but hopes to be back in top shape for Liège

Joaquim RodriguezJoaquim Rodriguez has played down his chances of winning the Flèche Wallonne for the second year in succession, saying that the crash which forced his withdrawal from the Amstel Gold Race is continuing to affect him. However the Catalan rider has put an end to any thoughts that he won’t be able to line out tomorrow, committing to the race in a press conference today.

“Tomorrow I will take part in La Flèche Wallonne with the number one on my back,” he said. “That gives me strong motivation, but I’m also aware I’m not in my top shape and so it will be very hard to repeat the victory of the last edition,” he stated.

Rodriguez came down in a crash with 43km to go on Sunday and was unable to continue. He suffered what was described as a “strong contusion at the left femoral biceps muscle,” and his team said that there was a chance he would not be able to ride tomorrow’s event.

Thankfully that is not the case, and after two hours training yesterday he decided that he will be able to compete. He believes it could however take a little more time to be back in his best form. “I hope to recover my top shape for Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” he said.

“In my opinion, the favorite riders for tomorrow will be Alejandro Valverde, Michael Albasini, Simon Gerrans, Philippe Gilbert, Igor Anton and Alberto Contador. Peter Sagan is very strong, but the last km is really hard: he should attack before.”

He will be joined by Daniel Moreno, Alexander Kolobnev, Yuriy Trofimov, Giampaolo Caruso, Angel Vicioso, Eduard Vorganov and Alberto Losada in tomorrow’s race, and again on Sunday.


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