Joaquim Rodriguez is determined to “fight for the win” at the Tour de France in 2013 – even if it means leaving Team Katusha to do so. The Russian team has been denied a WorldTour licence by the UCI and has filed suit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the matter.
If the Court turns down the team's appeal, then Rodriguez will leave the team and sign with another WorldTour team, he and his agent told El Periódico de Catalunya. “I want to do the Tour and fight for the win,” he said.
“I know it's a very difficult challenge. But next year the Tour has a very hilly course that may be extraordinary for me. This is my desire,” he said, but admitted, "It is a difficult time.”
His agent, former rider Angel Edo, put it more bluntly. “The Tour next year is perfect for him. He is 33 and can not pass up an opportunity like this.”
He also pointed out that Rodriguez must know in advance whether he will ride the Giro d'Italia or the Tour. “You can not sacrifice the season pending an invitation, which is awarded in the spring. Because preparing to contest the Giro is completely different than if you leave the Italian race and focus on the Tour.”