Carlos Rodríguez: this is the new man Tour in Spain

Carlos Rodríguez (Almuñécar, February 2, 2001) is one of the fashion men in the Tour de France and the present and future of national cycling. Together with Juan Ayuso (2002)they are called to star in great evenings. In fact, they are already doing it, and in the case of Carlos, in the most important race in the world. He is fourth overall, 1:42 behind the third drawer set by Jai Hindley, the first of the rest. The superiority of Vingegaard and Pogacar with the rest of the peloton was evident in the first week, while there is a position on the podium in Paris that is highly coveted and has many suitors. One of them is the sexitano, a calm, humble person who loves to learn.

Not only in cycling, but in all areas, as evidenced by his studies in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. A reserved person with a soft voice who is hard to hear say one word louder than another, as became clear after the fifth stage, in Laruns. Once across the finish line, and while heading towards his team’s bus, the Ineos, he collided with a sound technician who was on the road and fell to the ground. She looked at him, gestured, and started on her way. That is also Carlos. “He is a very calm, slow, reasonable, very responsible and respectful boy with everyone who makes up the team: colleagues, mechanics, masseurs…, It really is how the public is shown to the public”, explains Xabier Zandio, one of the directors of his team, to AS.

Carlos Rodríguez poses for AS
Carlos Rodríguez poses for ASBLOND JESUSACE DAILY

Time is agreeing with Zandio and Ineos himselfwho announced the signing of Rodríguez in November 2019, when the runner was 18 years old and was a member of the Alberto Contador Foundation team. “I have good memories of those years and it was one of my best decisions. I’m glad they crossed my path.”, he told yesterday on the rest day of the Tour showing a smile, with a special pleasure for talking about that stage of his life. Between 2012 and 2019, Ineos (formerly Sky) had won seven Tour de France, and suddenly they took over the services of a young Spanish. How could this be? “Now it is seen more frequently, but with us Carlos made the leap directly to professionalism, without going through U-23. 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. There are riders in lower categories who have a special shine, as happened with Ayuso”adds Zandio.

“Solid, resistant and regular, very regular”, is the description that the Basque makes of his runner, and he will be so until December 31. After four seasons at Ineos, Carlos Rodríguez will go to Movistar to lead the Spanish team. As AS learned, whatever happens on this Tour, there will be no changes. Everything has been closed for months. But that is the future, the present is that Ineos will cover you until the end. “It is clear that he is ahead in the general and he is our leader. pidcock is also close (marching seventh) and the situation is new for both”. As a great help, Carlos has by his side a runner that he admires with great devotion: Egan Bernal. The 2019 Tour champion praises the pearl: “I’m going to support him in everything I can. In the future he will be one of the best three-week riders”. And for the Andalusian, that suddenly in this Tour the great public, the most generalist, has ‘met’ him, he doesn’t put pressure on him: “On the contrary, it’s an extra motivation”.

Carlos chats with Iván, Ineos mechanic
Carlos chats with Iván, Ineos mechanicjesus rubio

He was in La Vuelta 2022, where a fall weighed him down in the final days and still finished seventh overall. He was champion of Spain in 2022, in his adolescence he achieved successes against the clock and this season he overcame a broken clavicle in March and a subsequent minor hit-and-run some time later. In this Tour, from Ineos they expect it to end in a big way. “Carlos is a long-distance runner, and my feeling is that he will be better in the third week than in the first. Nobody knows where it can go.” Zandio adds. He is the new Tour man for Spain, which does not have La Vuelta on its roadmap: “At 22 years old, doing the Tour and Vuelta would be too demanding.” For now, the mind is focused on achieving great things for France: “My idea is to do the best possible.”

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