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Joaquim Rodriguez satisfied with ‘good’ season; hopes to stay with Katusha

Spanish rider Joaquim Rodríguez expressed satisfaction with what he characterized as a "good" season that saw the Katusha rider finish fourth in the WorldTour rankings.

2011 Tour of Lombardy, Joachim Rodriguez
Rodriguez in a break at the Tour of Lombardy. Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com

Rodríguez had another consistent season, notching six victories, including the overall at the Vuelta a Burgos and podiums at the Giro di Lombardia, Amstel Gold Race and Fleche Wallonne. The only hiccups were disappointments at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, where he went to win and ended up fifth and 19th, respectively.

“I am sure if I didn’t have two hard crashes, I could have had a better spot on GC (at the Vuelta), including trying to win another stage and taking the points jersey,” he said in an interview. “But you have to look at the bright side, because since I’ve been racing grand tours, this by far was the best condition I’ve ever arrived at the start.”

Rodríguez hopes to finalize a deal that would keep him at Katusha through 2013. He joined the team in 2010 and says he’s comfortable on the Russian-backed squad, where he enjoys a leadership role and team support during the major races.

“It’s true that with the former Katusha direction that my contract extension was practically finalized. Later, there was a change in management and now we’re negotiating to the new management of the team,” he said. “I am sure there won’t be a lot of changes and there’s good intention on bot parts. I’ve felt good on this team and I see now reason to change.”