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Rodriguez sets goals for 2009 season

Joaquim Rodriguez wants a podium finish in 2009

Joaquim Rodriguez wants a podium finish in 2009 (Image credit: Elmar Krings)

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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