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Exclusive: I can win Giro and Vuelta in 2014, says Rodriguez

Alasdair Fotheringham
December 28, 2013, 13:58,
December 28, 2013, 13:33
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, December 29, 2013
Giro d'Italia
Joaquim Rodríguez celebrates after winning Il Lombardia

Joaquim Rodríguez celebrates after winning Il Lombardia

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Katusha leader outlines program for 2014

It’s cold and snowy in Andorra right now with some mountain passes completely blocked, but 2013 UCI WorldTour number one Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) is already training hard in his adopted home. Yesterday (Friday), the Catalan was out training until well into the early evening, and - unsurprisingly - the season’s big objectives are already uppermost on his mind.

“My first target will be the Giro, which suits me the most of the Grand Tours, above all with such a long time trial in the Tour de France this year right at the end of the race,” Rodriguez told Cyclingnews. “But I’m very keen to have a crack at the Vuelta again, too.”

The Katusha leader is adamant that trying to win both in a single season is possible, despite Vincenzo Nibali’s near-miss last year, his own failure to do so in 2012 and that the last rider who managed to do the Giro-Vuelta double was Alberto Contador, way back in 2008.

“For sure it’s feasible. I only lost the Giro in 2012 in the last time trial by 17 seconds and I came very close in the Vuelta that year, too and lost that one because of an error. If I’m able to be in good form, then why not try for both?”

“On top of that, the Vuelta gives you a level of form that no other race can when you’re aiming at the Worlds.”

Talking of which - on the one-day front, Rodriguez has some unfinished business too. Second in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and a silver medallist in the World Championships in 2013, he is determined to go one better in both, if possible in 2014.

“The World’s will be another big objective. It’s going to be a very special race in Spain whatever happens because racing an event like that in your own country automatically gives you an extra degree of motivation. And as a race, anyway, the World’s is such a good one that I couldn’t ignore it if I wanted to.”

Rodriguez will start his year again in the Tour of San Luis, “even if it’s almost impossible for me to win, the South American riders are all in top shape because they’re right at the end of their season. But the good weather is always a huge plus about going there. And then I’ll go on to Dubai.”

“In Oman, after two preparation races, even if I’m not on top of my game, I’ll be getting there and should be able to fight for a stage win.” That was the case in 2013, with Rodriguez winning on the Green Mountain, Oman’s hardest stage. “where I was pleasantly surprised to see I was actually in a good enough condition to fight for a victory on a mountain stage so early on.”

HIs first big objective of 2013, though, remains the Giro or Liege-Bastogne-Liege: “They’re my two favourite races on the calendar, and winning either would be amazing.”

With very few changes in Katusha line-up from 2012, Rodriguez says that “the best thing about this start to the season is we don’t have all the problems about whether we’re in the WorldTour or not, it’s been just a question of getting on with work and training. Everybody in the team is in a better mood than they were at the end of 2012 and you can really see that in the way it’s all coming together for 2014.”

FabiquesAnquetillara 10 months ago
He has Poulidor syndrome. Symptoms: Being fantastic rider and being second most of the time Cure: unknown
GuyIncognito 10 months ago
I hope he wins the Vuelta, I really do But the Giro is very unlikely. Quintana will be there.
the sceptic 10 months ago
not to mention Richie Heras
FabiquesAnquetillara 10 months ago
Funny :)
TANK91 10 months ago
The Sceptic, but Purito is clean that team he rides for man what a clean lot. Its funny you guys on at Sky yet its cuz they won the TDF me thinks its something else if Froome finishes 5th you guys will still be on him, check the Horner Vuelta win for example that should have been up in arms about that result but no you losers still on about Sky. Also all you defense is when we say they ant failed is yeh but LA dint fail guess what Sceptic were all laughing at you bums in the clinic because who is right in all of this, you? or us? Yes have a good day haha
Innocent Harerimana 10 months ago
You are a terrible writer!!! I absolutely have no idea of what you are saying, and I find it annoying.
styrian_chamois 10 months ago
Cance > TheRest 10 months ago
Once again displaying your stupidity, TANK91... Maybe you were just not on CN one single time during the Vuelta, or you simply didnt see all the sceptic comments about Horner. As for Rodriguez, doped or not he has atleast been a great rider for several years, gradually getting better with some of the first signs shown in the 2005 season, where he rode a good Vuelta taking KOM title.
HeadPack 10 months ago
Wow, you seem to have actually understood what that guy tried to write.
Cance > TheRest 10 months ago
DO NOT compare Vuelta king Heras to Porte... Thats unfair to Heras...
sbroaddus 10 months ago
Heras? Now there's a convicted doper right there.
Lance, remember Bassons? 10 months ago
Cance's reasoning has no basis on fact - he's always ready to show affection and laud convicted dopers, yet when it comes to the innocent (ie Porte, Froome et al at Sky) he'd rather splash out baseless accusations like PEDS at a US Postal Christmas party.
Alejandro Marinero 10 months ago
Purito just pray that parcours for individual time trial are hilly, otherwise winning a GT remains a dream for him.
Innocent Harerimana 10 months ago
Just a quick question: how long would it take him to learn how to TT? He is a complete rider but yet his TT is terrible. Is it just his position or lack of desire to push himself when alone?
styrian_chamois 10 months ago
Due to his physique, the progress he could make "learning TT" would never make up for how this would hurt his brilliant climbing skills.
kdogg64 10 months ago
Froome would disagree.
styrian_chamois 9 months ago
Froome has quite different physical conditions.
WilGirod'Italia 10 months ago
The ITT in Piemonte at the next Giro is rather hilly - not sure whether it is as hilly and not suitable to classic ITT specialists as the Saltara one from this year Giro, but there should not be huge gaps anyway. Purito in the Giro with a chance - I hope he wins it, he would deserve it probably more than anybody
two20john 10 months ago
Definitely a class act, I'd love to see him nail the Giro.
Raoul Duke 10 months ago
Need confidence in yourself to train hard and race hard. Good for Rodriguez, we will get to enjoy what promises to be some absolutely tremendous battles in 2014
sixdayglory 10 months ago
I'm not sure if he can be dominant enough to finish off a GT. He is awesome when he attacks and I love to watch him win. However, any smart team tactically would gang up on him whenever a stage suits him to deflate his explosion at the end of a stage. Also he is not a time trailer just as he is not an all day break artist. You MUST have that threat, at least the threat of it , To beat the other top talent for the podium and surely for the top step. He can do it with a change of mindset , certainly he has the legs and heart...
Cance > TheRest 10 months ago
Rodriguez will have to rely on Quintana having a total off day, as he will be beaten by Quintana in the timetrial and atleast wont gain any time on him in the mountains. I believe Rodriguez can beat Porte, when they enter the last week. Porte has yet to show that he's a GT rider (Not counting his giro 2010 simply because we all know how he achieved a top 10)
movingtarget 10 months ago
Two podiums maybe but not two wins.
Alan D 10 months ago
He sufffers from TS2TT ( too small to time trial), but isn't he just cool. With the coolest name in creation. El Purito. THey call bullfighters names like that. And yes, come to think of it, he;s a matador on a bike. I still like Nibali's panache though. He's got the X factor. But Nibali's going to win at least 4 GTs in his career... we just need/want Purito to score 1 or 2. As for Richie Porte, what's everyone whining about? I saw him riding the cols in this years TdF... he was clean as a whistle. Not a speck of mud or dirt on him, and I looked closely.