Rodriguez to aim for big result in Critérium du Dauphiné
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Friday, June 03, 2011

Rodriguez to aim for big result in Critérium du Dauphiné

by Shane Stokes at 7:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
Giro form points to strong race

Joaquim RodriguezAfter finishing a fine fifth overall in the Giro d’Italia, Joaquim Rodriguez will seek to use his good form to ride strongly in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Unlike many of the other big names who will also be taking part, Rodriguez is not participating in this year’s Tour de France. Because of this, he will be more willing to chase overall victory than those riders who are concerned about going too deep.

The Catalan climber will be backed by a strong Katusha team, which knows he could fight for the final yellow jersey. He will be joined by Vladimir Gusev, Mikhail Ignatyev, Sergei Ivanov, Vladimir Karpets, Alexander Kolobnev, Egor Silin and Yuriy Trofimov in the event, which begins on Sunday with a prologue time trial.

Although he finished eighth overall and won a stage in last year’s Tour, beating Alberto Contador at Mende, Rodriguez opted to target the Giro and the Vuelta this year. He wants to win a Grand Tour and likely considered the Tour victory to be beyond him at this point.

He was pleased with his performance in the Italian event. “Getting fifth overall was a good performance,” he said. “Admittedly, it is a bit bittersweet, because I was sick before the Giro and I wasn’t cured. I had to take antibiotics and that messed things up.

“The Giro was hard, intense, beautiful, tragic ... I did not win a stage, but ended up happy and proud of my fifth place overall. I want to thank the excellent work done by my team at the Giro, it was simply extraordinary.”

After the Dauphine, Rodriguez is likely to target the Spanish championships, which he won in 2007. He’ll then take a break, and is expected to build his form back up for the Vuelta. He has overall placings of sixth, seventh and fourth in the race, and is a past winner of the mountains classification.

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