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Spanish veteran looking to repeat his 2010 and 2014 wins despite fierce competition and a crash-marred start to the season.

Photo: Sirotti

JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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VOLTA A CATALUNYA

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21.03.2016 @ 08:55 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Despite some fierce competition, notably from Chris Froome (SKY), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Katusha’s Joaquím Rodriguez is looking to add to his tally at the Volta a Catalunya this week. The Catalan climbing veteran won the race in 2010 and 2014 and has set his sights on a third triumph.

 

“The Volta a Catalunya is one of the most important races for me all season. I want to fight to try to get the best possible result in the overall classification although there will be very strong opposition. The most important thing is to have good feelings in my legs and fight for a win. I have won the Catalunya twice and other times I finished on the podium [he finished runner-up in 2013] so the goal is to fight for victory," Rodriguez explained to Cyclingpro.net.

 

Thus far, 2016 has been a quiet year for Joaquim Rodriguez. However, that’s hardly a surprise given his history. Traditionally, Rodriguez has been a slow starter only to fire at anything that moves at the Volta a Catalunya. Such was the case when, in 2014, Rodriguez was way off the pace in Tirreno-Adriatico but came back to pound both Froome and Contador into submission in his home race.

 

At the recent Tirreno-Adriatico Rodriguez was involved in a few crashes that took him out of the action before the decisive stages. Accordingly, it’s difficult to predict his chances at glory. While the overall win may prove elusive due to the stiff competition he will face, Rodriguez will be one of the hot favourites to win in La Molina where it is more about punching power than climbing skills.

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