Joaquim Rodriguez: Satisfied and ready to move forward
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Joaquim Rodriguez: Satisfied and ready to move forward

by Jered Gruber at 2:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Even after finishing a relatively pedestrian 44th in Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez can look back at the first phase of his 2010 season with great satisfaction.

The rider from Catalunya assembled a splendid spring highlighted by three victories: the overall at his home race the Volta a Catalunya, the GP Miguel Indurain, and a stage of the Tour of the Basque Country. His top placings are nearly innumerable with 8 Top 10's, 4th overall at Paris-Nice, 4th overall at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, and 2nd at La Fleche Wallonne.

After finishing 2nd in last Wednesday's Fleche Wallonne, the Katusha rider assumed the lead in the UCI World ranking. His stay at the top was to be a short one though - only four days. His bid for a high placing at La Doyenne was derailed by a crash in the latter stages of the race:

"Yes, I am satisfied with the balance of the early season, although I would have liked to retain the lead in the UCI rankings after Liege. I am sure that without the fall in which I was involved with 50 km to go, I would have succeeded with a strong result - 30 points would have been enough to keep my lead. Although it was nothing serious, I hit my knee, and I had some discomfort, which prevented my from being with the best in the finale."

For Rodriguez, he can now look to a week of complete rest, followed by the beginnings of his preparation for his big goal in 2010: "This week I will not touch the bike and the next, I will begin preparing for the Tour de France."

Surprisingly, when Rodriguez takes the start in Rotterdam on July 3rd, it will be his first ever participation in the Grand Boucle. In November, Rodriguez gushed that "It will be like a dream, being at the start. My intention is to ride as I did in the 2008 Giro: calmly and looking for a stage win.”

After racing in the shadow of Alejandro Valverde at Caisse d'Epargne for the last four seasons, Rodriguez opted for a change in 2010 with a move to Katusha. The move has allowed and will continue to allow him the opportunity to race as a leader.


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