The Spaniard has an impressive record in his home three-week race, finishing fourth in the last two years, third in 2012, and picking up six top-10 finishes in seven editions. He comes into this year’s race on the back of a fine Tour de France where, despite not being up there on GC, he took two stage wins, the first on the Mur de Huy and the second in the Pyrenees.
Katusha’s nine-man roster is weighted between Spaniards like Rodríguez and riders from Russia, the home country of the team, and is a relatively old one with an average age of just over 32. Daniel Moreno, who won a stage and was 10th overall at the 2013 Vuelta, joins Alberto Losada and 38-year-old Angel Vicioso in the Spanish contingent, while the Russians are Vladimir Isaychev, Pavel Kochetkov, Egor Silin, Eduard Vorganov.
The team is rounded out by Italian Giampaolo Caruso who, along with Losada, is the only rider to have done the Tour de France this year with Rodríguez. Rodríguez will be encouraged by the nature of the climbs in this year’s route and particularly look forward to the brutal mountain stage in Andorra on home roads he will be very familiar with.
Katusha for the 2015 Vuelta a España: Joaquim Rodriguez, Giampaolo Caruso, Vladimir Isaychev, Pavel Kochetkov, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Egor Silin, Angel Vicioso and Eduard Vorganov.