Joachim Rodriguez to chase Tour de France stage win
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Joachim Rodriguez to chase Tour de France stage win

by Conal Andrews at 8:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

World road race championship bronze medallist Joaquim Rodriguez plans to ride his first Tour de France in 2010, with the Spaniard aiming to chase stage success there.

"It will be like a dream, being at the start,” he said. “My intention is to ride as I did in the 2008 Giro: calmly and looking for a stage win.”

The 30 year old has already had success in Grand Tours, winning a stage and finishing sixth overall in the Vuelta a España.

He stepped up a level in 2009 with a collection of strong results. Stage wins in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Vuelta a Burgos showed his ability in multi-day events, as did seventh overall in the Vuelta a España. His Classic prowess was highlighted by second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and that podium finish in the world road race championships, where he sparked off the winning move.

Rodriguez has spent the past four years with the Caisse d’Epargne team but has decided to make a change, seeking a new start elsewhere. He recently had his first meeting with the Katusha team and has an outline of his programme.

"I will begin running two or three stages in the Challenge de Mallorca with the intention of finding my rhythm,” he said. He’ll then contest the five-day Volta ao Algarve, picking one stage to test his form.

The first serious target will be Tirreno-Adriatico, where he’s won the tough Montelupone stage for the past two years. A third victory on the wall-like climb is a goal, as is a strong overall performance. GC targets will be paramount in the Volta a Catalunya, where he expects to be in strong shape and motivated on home soil.

The Tour of the Basque Country follows, helping him to make final preparations for the Amstel Gold race, Fleche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. A first Classic win will clearly be on his mind.

Following a break, he’ll resume competition and build up towards July in France. “I will do the Tour of Luxembourg with the same philosophy as in Algarve, then ride the Tour of Switzerland. I hope to be ahead in the mountain stages there and work to refine my shape before the Tour,”

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