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Spaniard targets fourth consecutive grand tour podium and will get strong support from Moreno, Caruso, Losada, Vicoso and Gusev in the mountains

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ALBERTO LOSADA

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ANGEL VICIOSO

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DANIEL MORENO

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DMITRIY KOZONTCHUK

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GIAMPAOLO CARUSO

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JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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LUCA PAOLINI

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VLADIMIR GUSEV

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VLADIMIR ISAICHEV

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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19.08.2013 @ 13:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Joaquim Rodriguez has finished on the podium in his three most recent grand tours and now he aims at a fourth consecutive top 3 result in the Vuelta a Espana. His Katusha team has selected a strong team with plenty of climbers to support him on the mountainous route.

 

Joaquim Rodriguez came agonizingly close to a grand tour win in last year's Vuelta a Espana but a gutsy attack from Alberto Contador on the stage to Fuente De and a bad day for the Katusha leader meant that he only ended 3rd. This year he will be back in his home race with the clear ambition of making it to the top step of the podium.

 

Unlike last year, Rodriguez lines up at the event on the back of a Tour de France participation which makes his level of freshness far more uncertain. In an attempt to avoid fading towards the end of the race, he has had far less competitions this seasons and hasn't raced at all since finishing 3rd overall in the French grand tour.

 

As usual, he will be supported by his trusted lieutenant Daniel Moreno who has a race schedule that is more or less identical to his captain. The Spaniard is a loyal domestique but himself a very capable grand tour rider. Last year he finished 5th in the Vuelta despite working in support of his friend and team captain.

 

Giampaolo Caruso will be the other key support rider in the mountains, the Italian having recently shown fantastic condition at the Vuelta a Burgos where he finished 4th overall. Vladimir Gusev will be another strong rider for the mountains, the Russian lining up at the race on the back of a 13th place at the Eneco Tour which finished yesterday.

 

Alberto Losada never reached his top level for the Tour de France but the Spaniard now hopes to make amends on home soil as he once again strives to support Rodriguez in the mountains. Fellow Spaniard Angel Vicoso crashed out of the Giro but has since recovered and will start the race as an important rider for the medium mountain stages.

 

Veteran Luca Paolini will be the team's road captain. The Italian has had a splendid season so far with a win in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and a stage win and several days in the leader's jersey at the Giro being his standout performances. He will be crucial for Rodriguez in the flat stages as will Dmitriy Kozontchuk and Russian champion Vladimir Isaychev who complete the roster.

 

The Vuelta starts on Saturday with a team time trial in Galicia.

 

Katusha for the Vuelta a Espana:

Joaquim Rodriguez, Daniel Moreno, Giampaolo Caruso, Alberto Losada, Angel Vicioso, Luca Paolini, Vladimir Gusev, Vladimir Isaychev and Dmitriy Kozontchuk

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