After crashing out of the Giro d'Italia, Katusha have confirmed that Joaquim Rodriguez will ride the Tour de France to prepare for the Vuelta a Espana. The Spaniard need the racing kilometres to get ready for the Spanish race and will target stage wins in France.
Joaquim Rodriguez had made the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana his big grand tour objetcives for 2014 but after crashing out of the Giro, his only chance to finally win a grand tour now comes at his home race. After weeks of speculation, his team now confirms that he will do the Tour de France to prepare for the Spanish race.
Last year Rodriguez raced the Tour and entered the race with the ambition of finishing on the podium. He reached his goal when he ended the race in third but no one should expect him to perform similarly well in this year's race. In 2014 it will be all about accumulating racing kilometres ahead of his big objective in Spain.
“We don’t want him taking any risks,” Katusha sports director Dmitry Konyshev told AS on Wednesday. “If he loses 20 minutes in the early stages, then so much the better, because then he’ll have more room to manoeuvre and it’ll be easier for him to take a stage win.
“We had no choice but to change plans after he fell [and was injured, breaking three ribs and a finger] in the Giro d’Italia. There aren’t many races apart from the Tour in the build-up to the Vuelta and Joaquim can’t be resting up for such a long time."
After the Tour, Rodriguez will ride the Clasica San Sebastian and possibly the Vuelta a Burgos as his final build-up races for the Vuelta.
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