Always a protagonist
Currently leading the mountains classification of the Vuelta a España after stage 11, Joaquin Rodriguez represents one of the more modest overall hopes in this year's race within the Saunier Duval-Prodir squad. Cyclingnews' Hernan Alvarez Macias spoke with Rodriguez out of the blistering heat in southern Spain, after stage 5 last week.
Rodriguez was a protagonist on Stage 5 while climbing the Category 3 Alto del Castillo together with Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Carlos Garcia Quesada (Comunidad Valenciana) close to the finish. In the bunch sprint over the closing stages he could do nothing against the power of Hushovd; nevertheless, he finished eighth in Cuenca and ended the day on the podium.
"Today [Wednesday] I did well - it was a nervous stage, and there were many junctions in the race," said Rodriguez about the stage that ended in Cuenca. "But that's the way the Vuelta is ridden. There were many nervous people inside the peloton. I was fourth or fifth on the descent and then I was able to end up eighth in the bunch sprint."
The Saunier Duval rider had a big chance for a stage win, and he admitted this, saying, "yes, it's true that I had a big opportunity today. But it's also true that there are many days to go in the Vuelta. I think tomorrow [Thursday] there will be a very demanding climb [the Category 1 climb to the ski station at Aramon Valdelinares], but we are going to try. We should keep on trying".
Click here for the full interview