World championship medallist Rodriguez to target Vuelta
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Friday, December 18, 2009

World championship medallist Rodriguez to target Vuelta

by Conal Andrews at 8:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The bronze medallist in Mendrisio, Joaquim Rodriguez, has added his name to the list of riders who have given a thumbs up to the route of the Vuelta a España.

"It's a route that I like. It is very nervous and with much scope for ambushes,” he said in a media release. “Above all, there are two stages, the tenth and eleventh, which suit my characteristics and which will be disputed near my home. I’ve climbed the Alto del Rat Penat twice with [Jesus] Losada, and I will now do it again to memorise it. I also think that the stage to Andorra, finishing in Pal, suits me well.”

Rodriguez has moved from the Caisse d’Epargne to the Katusha team and should have greater freedom to chase results in 2010. He was previously required to help riders such as Alejandro Valverde in the big events, but nevertheless managed to clock up some important victories and placings.

He won stages in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of Burgos, then finished second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In September he further underlined his class when he instigated the decisive attack in the world championship road race, and finished third.

On Wednesday, Rodriguez went to the Vuelta presentation in Seville with his new manager Andrei Tchmil, team-mate Vladimir Karpets and Serge Parsani, directeur sportif. What he saw there underlined his intention to include the Spanish Tour on his list of priorities.

“The great Belgian classics, the Tour and the Vuelta are my big goals,” the 30 year old former national champion said. “After seeing the route, it is more clear that I should be at the start of Seville next August.”



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