Change in Tirreno-Adriatico course sees Rodriguez switch to Paris-Nice
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Change in Tirreno-Adriatico course sees Rodriguez switch to Paris-Nice

by Conal Andrews at 7:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
 

World road race championship bronze medallist Joaquim Rodriguez has decided to target Paris-Nice rather than Tirreno Adriatico this year, following the news that the savage Montelupone climb will be dropped from the course.

Rodriguez proved strongest on the wall-like ascent in 2008 and 2009 and was all set to return this year and aim for three in a row. However, despite indications from the organisers that the climb would once again feature, the official announcement of the route saw it left out.

That was enough for him to opt for the French event instead. "This year this stage finish is not included in the course of the Italian race and, together with the team, we have decided to change my schedule and dispute Paris-Nice," said the rider from Parets del Valles.

Rodriguez is an explosive rider and a very strong climber. He will be part of a very strong Katusha team in the spring Classics, but wants to leave his mark on Paris-Nice as well. He’ll head to Tenerife and train in the mountains there until March 4th, with the goal of ensuring he’s in the best possible condition.

"I already did that last year and it went very well,” he explained. “I want to train at altitude to build form and try to have a good Paris-Nice.”

In truth, he’s more than a little relieved to be racing at a high level. He fell heavily while training and suffered deep cuts to his buttock and leg; that could have been quite serious for his spring aspirations, but things worked out well.

"In total I rode three days of Majorca and the entire Vuelta ao Algarve, with a positive result in terms of all the work that was done. It [the crash] was pretty scary, because after the injury in Calpe, I thought that things would be miserable.”

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