Joaquim Rodríguez might never get a ticket to the Tour de France riding for a Spanish team.
Now the all-rounder is hoping to finally get to race in France next July after his move from Caisse d’Epargne to Katusha.
Rodríguez is firming up his racing schedule with the Russian-backed team and it’s all but sure he’ll finally get a shot at the Tour.
“It will be like a dream for me to be at the start line of the Tour,” Rodríguez said. “I will race it like I did the Giro in 2008, with tranquility and try to win a stage.”
Rodríguez met with his with new teammates last week to make first contact with the team staff and directors. The team will rally again before the holidays and then again in early January for a training camp.
His schedule with Katusha will be similar to his previous campaigns at Caisse d’Epargne, with the major exception that the Tour, not the Giro, will be his major grand tour focus.
He’ll debut at the Mallorca Challenge in early February, followed by the Volta a Algarve in Portugal to get ready for Tirreno-Adriatico, his first major goal of the year. Rodríguez has won the hilltop stage to Montelupone the past two years.
With the Volta a Catalunya, now in March, will be on his calendar to prepare for the spring classics. He’ll keep busy with the Tour of the Basque Country before tackling Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
After a break, he’ll then race the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour de Suisse before what he hopes will be his Tour debut at the age of 31.