Joaquim Rodriguez goes into Liege-Bastogne-Liege bolstered by his new contract with Team Katusha. The team announced on Friday that it has extended its contract with the winner of the Fleche Wallonne by one year, though 2013.
“I feel very comfortable within Katusha and The Russian Global Cycling Project. The team gives me its support and the opportunities to realize my dreams as a rider,” Rodriguez said on the team website.
“I´m very happy and I´m really looking forward to continuing our common future: in this team I´m held in high esteem, I proved my qualities as a leader so it was natural to continue this relation.That gives me even more motivations in order to do something great on Sunday, for Liege-Bastogne-Liege: it´s definitely my favorite race, even more than World Championships or big stage races.”
The Ardennes Classics have always been “the season's climax” to him since his childhood, he said. This year he finally achieved his goal of winning one of the races, and is eager to repeat that feat.
“Before winning Fleche Wallonne I was a little nervous, because I´ve never won a great Classic race: but now I feel more calm and comfortable. We´re getting ready to the event in the best possible way, so on Sunday we´ll play our part in order to take this double.”
General manager Hans-Michael Holczer called him “one of the best riders in the world and plays an important role for Katusha and the whole Project. Therefore, it is good for both sides to provide the early foundations for the future.”