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Rodríguez delays decision on riding 2013 Tour de France

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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) attacks

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) attacks (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) looking more and more solid in red.

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) looking more and more solid in red. (Image credit: Unipublic)

Joaquím Rodríguez (Team Katusha) has said that he will not be making a decision on which of the three Grand Tours he will ride in 2013 until the Vuelta a España 2013 route is confirmed.

“Once the route is published, I’ll sit down with the team and work it out,” Rodríguez said on Thursday.

Second in the 2012 Giro d’Italia, which he led up until the final time trial, and third in the Vuelta, which he led for nearly two weeks, Rodríguez has expressed interest in racing in the Tour de France – where he won the stage to Mende airfield in 2010 – to complete the ‘set’ of podium finishes in all three Grand Tours.

However, the Spanish all-rounder could not travel to Paris on Wednesday for the Tour route presentation: first his flight from Barcelona to the French capital was cancelled and whilst he and the other passengers were waiting to be re-allocated to other flights, he started to feel ill and opted to head for home. It turned out that the Tour of Lombardy winner had gone down with tonsillitis.

The Tour route itself is more favourable for ‘Purito’ than in 2012, with far less individual time trialling – his weakest suit – and several tough uphill finishes.

However, Rodríguez may well have a long wait before he finally makes a decision on what his 2013 targets will be: the Vuelta presentation was initially planned for mid-December, but a date in January 2013 now looks more probable.

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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.