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Rodriguez sets goals for 2009 season

By:
Gregor Brown in Diegem, Belgium
Published:
December 29, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 19:47 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, December 29, 2008
Joaquim Rodriguez wants a podium finish in 2009

Joaquim Rodriguez wants a podium finish in 2009

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Caisse d'Epargne professional Joaquim Rodriguez is looking forward to the 2009 season and intends to...

Caisse d'Epargne professional Joaquim Rodriguez is looking forward to the 2009 season and intends to better his top-ten finishes in Grand Tours and major one-day races earned in 2008.

"Taking into account that this year I was eighth in three major classics and sixth in the Vuelta a España and the world road championships, in 2009 I hope to finish on the podium in one of these races," Rodriguez said.

"The team expects me to ride for general classification in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España and I am going to focus on these races, but let's not forget the Northern Classics. Those are races that I love and I often get good results."

This year he finished the same place – eighth – in the three Ardennes Classics, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

"In both the Giro and the Vuelta I proved I can be with the best in the mountain stages. This year I have just been lacking a bit of luck in these races."

The beginning of the 2009 season will not change much from his 2008 start. "Like every year, I prefer a quiet start," Rodriguez said. "I will ride two or three stages in Mallorca and then do the Vuelta a Andalucía. I need some racing, but prefer not making maximum efforts at this point of the season. The first objective is to arrive at Tirreno-Adriatico on form and hold it through the Giro."

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