Cyst prevents Joaquim Rodriguez from defending Volta a Catalunya title
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cyst prevents Joaquim Rodriguez from defending Volta a Catalunya title

by Conal Andrews at 4:50 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta a Catalunya, Injury
Rider gains weight due to medication

Joaquim RodriguezDefending champion Joaquim Rodriguez has been forced to abandon plans to line out in the Volta a Catalunya, with illness preventing his start next Monday.

The 2010 world number one recently trained hard in Sicily and Spain to get ready for the race, but a cyst on his left thighbone has compromised his condition.

"First, I felt a little annoyance, but then the pain started to grow day after day,” he explained. “Two weeks before "Tirreno-Adriatico" I went to Doctor Casañas for a visit in the Teknon Clinic in Barcelona. The X-ray showed the presence of something that, thanks to the ultrasound scan, appeared to be a cyst.”

Although he’s been taking treatment and the problem is abating, a side effect is complicating matters for him and is partly responsible for his decision not to compete in the Spanish race.

“They prescribed me an anti-inflammatory medicine that allowed me to reabsorb the cyst and feel less pain, but as a side effect is causing a water retention that made me gain some weight. In fact, at "Tirreno-Adriatco", I was 62 kilos, when my ideal weight is 59. So in the long stages I could stay with the best riders, but in the little stages with important climbings my legs swelled up, and that didn´t allow me to keep my usual rythm.

“When I saw I couldn´t compete for the final victory, I decided to take this race as high quality training in order to improve my shape.”

Rodriguez twice won the Montelupone stage in Tirreno-Adriatico. The race didn’t travel there this year, but he headed to Italy determined to try to win another stage and target the overall. His condition meant that 63rd on stage six to Macerata was the best he could do, however, and now missing out in defending his title in the Volta a Catalunya is another setback.

“I´m very disappointed I won´t be able to stand up for my victory of last year, but I prefer to follow the doctor´s suggestions: the best thing to do in this moment is to keep on take medicines and keep on training till next week.”

He’s currently at a training camp at Mount Etna and will remain there for the next fortnight. He’ll return to Spain on March 30th and ride the GP Indurain, then compete in the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, his home race.

“I hope to be in my normal shape for this competition, so that I can face them at my best,” he said.

In the meantime, his absence from Catalunya means that leadership of the team will pass to another Katusha rider. Danilo Di Luca showed good form in Tirreno-Adriatico and may well be given the chance to chase a result in Spain.

He will be joined by Juan Horrach Ripoll, Vladimir Karpets, Alexandr Pliuschin, Yuriy Trofimov, Egor Silin, Artem Ovechkin and Eduard Vorganov.


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