Carlos Rodríguez is already here. He is a budding star who made his Tour debut at the age of 22, “without pressure, to learn”, and already has a stage to his credit and occupies provisional third place. The new man Tour for Spain. With his usual calm, celebrating after crossing the finish line to speed up all the seconds possible in his battle with Hindley for the podium, which he is ahead of in the general standings by just a second, he attended the displaced media.
The one from Almuñécar is now third overall. “I don’t believe it… incredible. He thought it would not be possible. It is a dream to win in the best race in the world. Thanks to all the work of the team, who are ten every day. I focused on having a great race and we have to continue like this”, said Carlos. On the penultimate climb, the Col de la Ramaz, Rodríguez began the ascent a few seconds behind the favourites. The reason was none other than a fault. “The sensations at the beginning were not the best, also with the puncture before starting the climb. Luckily it didn’t take a toll on me and in the Joeux Plane you had a good feeling and I made a full descent to the finish line to get as much advantage as possible”added Carlos, with great dexterity in the descent, and it is that in his childhood he practiced BMX.
“Once I caught Vingegaard and Pogacar, I kept focused on going as fast as possible. My battle was not with them. I like descents, I’m not bad at it, and happy to have had that past in BMX, which will surely have helped me, explained the man from Ineos, more smiling than ever during this Tour. In addition, he had words of support for his ‘rival’ for the Hindley podium, affected in the initial pileup: “If I took time for his fall, I don’t like the desire for things like that. I wanted to do everything possible and hopefully it will be a nice fight until Paris.
However, it is not a fight that obsesses him at the moment: “I don’t know if I will hold out in this third place, it is not something that worries me now. I will continue with my attempt to do my best. Being on the Tour was already a dream”. The runner, who jumped directly from the Contador Foundation (Kometa) to Ineos in 2020 was one of the most commented signings at that time. “I remember that moment and I’m not going to tell you that there was controversy with this movement of taking such a big leap, but we wanted to go step by step with it”pointed to AS Xabier Zandio, one of his directors at Ineos, to AS about the evolution of Carlos Rodríguez, who will leave for Movistar next season.
“Carlos, Carlitos… I don’t care, as long as they call me by my name,” he added with a smile about how the press addressed him. He also sent a message to the Spanish fans, after the three stages achieved in this edition (Bilbao, Izagirre and Carlos) with only ten national riders left in action: “Let them be clear that we will fight to make them feel proud of us”.