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"I'm very happy because I did not expect the season I had and to be further rewarded with a professional contract."

Photo: Sirotti

VINI ZABU KTM

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02.11.2015 @ 08:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cristian Rodriguez (1995) will make the step to the professional level in 2016 with the Italian Southeast team after a remarkable second season as U23 rider. He won the Vuelt a Leon and was runner-up at the Spanish time trial championships. In 2015 he was stagiare with the Italian team and did the Tour de l'Avenir. The Andalusian climber has confirmed his quality as one of the most promising Spanish cyclists.

 

Rodriguez excelled in his second year with the Caja Rural amateur team. He won the Vuelta a León in style, with an exhibition in the queen stage, won the silver medal in the time trial at the Spanish Championshuos, was fifth in the Vuelta al Bidasoa and the GP Vila-Real and seventh in the Vuelta a Castellon. His balance is outstanding. "I'm very happy because I did not expect the season I had and to be further rewarded with a professional contract," he told BiciCiclismo.

 

Rodriguez already knows how it is to ride as a professional. With the Spanish national team, he did the GP Indurain, La Vuelta a La Rioja and the Vuelta a Castilla y León. And in August and September he did five classics with Southeast, Tre Valli Varesine, Milan-Turin, Giro del Piemonte, Coppa Sabatini and Giro dell'Emilia. "I found what I expected, fast racing in the season finale. My first impression was good. It was about meeting the team, seeing how they work ... In the first race I had to pull from the beginning and then I could withdraw. That's how you learn! It will help to have Daniel Martinez in the team as he speaks the same language," he said.

 

Next year he knows what to expect. "I hope to learn a lot and grow and contribute to the team how I can. And I am prepared to suffer as the first year will be pretty hard. I hope to adapt as quickly as possible. " He already has distinct qualities despite being just 20 years of age. "My strong point is the mountains, but I still have to define myself. I worked hard because I like the time trials, although it is not my field, and I can do well, especially in the long ones," he said. "I have not had any idols. I've already done races with Frank Schleck and Meintjes."

 

He was part of the Spanish team that won the Tour de l'Avenir with Marc Soler. "The coach gave me confidence all season. You should go to the race very strong. And I think that by riding in Spain it is impossible to win a Tour de l'Avenir. Some of them ride for continental teams and they are riding at twice the pace than you do. It is evident," he said.

 

Rodriguez often trains alone. "If I have to do specific training, I go alone. Otherwise, with a group. . Here there are no professionals but this year witg Caja Rural I have spent much time in Pamplona," he said.

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