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"I do not think this Tour is about those four. "Not even five, if I include myself. I think the range is wider."

Photo: Sirotti

JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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03.07.2015 @ 18:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Joaqui, Rodriguez (Katusha) is against the general assessment that the Tour de France is only about four riders and says that he is in France to fight for the overall win.

 

"I do not think this Tour is about those four," he told EFE, referring to Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Chris Froome (Sky ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). "Not even five, if I include myself. I think the range is wider," added the Katusha rider who does not hide that his intention is to "win the Tour."

 

“I’m not a serious favourite but there are few riders who have taken podiums at the Giro, the Tour and the Vuelta and cannot say that they are one of the favourites but that’s the way it is,” Rodríguez added in an interview with Cyclingnews and Het Nieuwsblad. “I will give my maximum to fight for the victory. At this moment I am very motivated. I think that Katusha are having one of the best years in their history.

We are only missing a Grand Tour and at this year’s Tour de France we go with a great team.”

 

“As a team, normally we suffer a lot in team time trials,” he said about stage 9. “It’s something that has always been missing. We’ve always had a good team but we have suffered in the team time trial on the flat stages. In the 2012 Giro d’Italia we did a great time trial and we had great riders then. We are calm about it.

 

 

"Ever since I saw the course I thought it could be a Tour for me and I have myself prepared to win it," he says. “It is a great opportunity. There is very little time trialling so it is really good for us climbers. For us we can take advantage of this situation and we will give everything to achieve the goal to win.”

 

Rodriguez adds that, beyond the GC, there are stages that interest him like the third which ends on the Mur de Huy and the fourteenth with a finish in Mende where he took his only Tour victory in 2010. "These are stage that are good for me but I have to see how the GC situation is because everything depends on the strategy," he said.

 

As for the time trial of 13.8 kilometers  in the streets of Utrecht, the Catalan indicated that it is "long enough to lose a few seconds that may be important."

 

Rodriguez knows which rider is the biggest favourite.

 

“If you look at the palmarès then it is Alberto Contador. He’s a rider who has won Grand Tours and has a great palmarès. He will definitely start as the favourite," he said.

 

 

“I am more worried about Valverde than I am about Quintana. Valverde is a rider with a lot of form. He is really tough. “Quintana is also a great rider. He is young, he won the Giro but he didn’t go face to face with Froome and Contador in this situation. In the Vuelta he fought against them but that was a different situation.”

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