Joaquim Rodriguez on the Giro d'Italia: "I want to race for the win."
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Friday, April 29, 2011

Joaquim Rodriguez on the Giro d'Italia: "I want to race for the win."

by Jered Gruber at 10:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Katusha captain excited about a Grand Tour tailor made for his abilities

Last year's World Tour overall winner, Joaquim Rodriguez, is currently in Andorra putting the final touches on the form that he hopes will take him to victory in May's Giro d'Italia.

The Catalan rider, who finished 17th in 2008 and abandoned in 2009, is not setting a modest goal for himself - he wants the overall win in Milano after three extremely difficult weeks of racing.

"The route is perfect for me," said Rodriguez to Biciciclismo. "The harder the better, provided I perform as I can. It fits me like a glove with mountains, some finishes at altitude, few time trials, and time bonuses."

With that in mind, the soon to be 32 year old climber, is aiming as high as possible when he toes the start in Venaria Reale next Sunday, May 7th.

"I want to race for the win. I will try to do my best, fight for stages, and go for the best overall finish. I will fight and don't see why I cannot go for the win. Contador will falter someday, and I have to be there ready for when he does."

Of course, there's that one pesky name, that one name that stands in the way of everyone else's dreams of glory when he enters a Grand Tour: Alberto Contador.

"It is clear that there is a favorite that stands in front of everyone - Alberto Contador. There are many other racers that can do harm though as well - Nibali, Kreuziger, Anton, Scarponi, Menchov, and Sastre."

With Contador's recent report that the Giro's Queen Stage through the Dolomiti will contain over six thousand meters of climbing, Rodriguez's hopes for a top overall finish seem to be justified. He's a proven climber and a proven favorite on steep ascents.

Overall though, it seems the Purito just plain enjoys the idea of what's to come in May's Giro.

"I like the Giro, and I think it'll be fun."

With that, he confirms once again that the Tour de France is not in the cards, however, he will take part in his country's national tour to finish out the Grand Tour season in 2011.

"I've spoken with the team, and I'll definitely dispute the Vuelta a España. We have seen that the best in the Giro last year were unable to compete at the Tour, and I'm not going to be the exception, especially considering how tough the Vuelta will be."



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