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Rodríguez studies Tour's mountain finishes

Joaquím Rodríguez (Caisse d'Epargne)

Joaquím Rodríguez (Caisse d'Epargne) (Image credit: AFP)

By Monika Prell

After a Caisse d'Epargne training camp in the Pyrenees to study the mountain stages of the Tour de France, Joaquím Rodríguez talked about the knowledge he gained to Spanish publication Marca.es.

Rodríguez believes that the hardest stage will be the sixteenth, with start in Orthez, the Puerto de Larrau and the mountain top finish on the Col d'Aubisque. "On Monday we came back from the Pyrenees and it was really great. We spent four days to see some finishes of the Tour: the Plateau de Beille, the stage to Le Louron and, above all, the one of Larrau, which seems to me the hardest of the three," suggested Rodríguez, who is happy to ride the Tour de France for his first time.

'Purito,' as he is called, is very content about the training, stating that "it's very important to learn those mountains by heart." He likes the stage of the Plateau de Beille, "because it seems to me a mountain that will be very hard, with a first kilometre that is very steep and then it becomes easier, but it has a constant ascent that can cause big gaps." He believes that the following stage will be won by a breakaway group. "From the last mountain, the Port de Bales, which is harder than the Peyresourde, until the finish line there will not be any flat kilometres."

The stage of Larrau "will be even tougher. It's the biggest Pyrenees stage. It will be ridden the day after the rest day, a fact that could be good or bad, and we will have to compete a stage of about seven hours and a mountain top finish," concluded Rodríguez.

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