Rodriguez ready for debut

21 Feb 2020

Rodriguez ready for debut

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Carlos Rodriguez is excited to make his professional debut at the UAE Tour as he lines up for the first time with Team INEOS.

The Spaniard turned 19 earlier this month and makes the significant step up from the junior ranks in 2020, starting with the seven-day stage race.
 
For Rodriguez the off-season has been about adapting, not only to life on a new team, but to the increased kilometres of a WorldTour professional.
 
With two team training camps completed, Rodriguez confirmed: “It’s been an incredible experience. I’ve learned so much so far and I continue to take in more information day by day. I’m getting used to the WorldTour level and I hope that I can be in good shape during this race to help the team as much as possible.”
 
Rodriguez will start alongside the likes of seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome on Sunday. Another part of his introduction has been to ensure his idols quickly become teammates.
 
He explained: “Being next to riders I have watched on television and training with them is amazing. It’s incredible how much you can take in, just by riding alongside them. It’s been a good experience to get into racing shape and to see how the team trains. We had some good blocks in both Mallorca and Gran Canaria. Sharing time with your teammates is really important too and it’s helped me integrate into the team.”
Carlos Rodriguez

Carlos Rodriguez

It’s been an incredible experience. I’ve learned so much so far and I continue to take in more information day by day.
With his first race approaching, Rodriguez is looking forward to helping the team and putting those extra kilometres of work into practice.
 
He added: “I feel pretty good heading into UAE Tour. I’m getting used to doing more hours and getting ready for the racing. The roads will obviously show if I’m there or not yet, but I’m happy with my shape and I hope that I can prove myself.
 
“The team has said to me that in this race it’s just about gaining experience and trying to help the team as much as I can without pressure.”
 
Working alongside coach Xabier Artetxe, Rodriguez has set the goal to be consistent across his debut season, which will see him dovetail racing commitments with his university work where he is studying Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.
 
“The goal this year was to get used to training more hours and that volume, as well as maintaining a good shape across the whole season so I can be at the front of all the races I go to. From the numbers in training I can see I am developing and hopefully that means I am prepared for this step.
 
“I’ve finished my first semester now at university. I didn’t receive all of my results yet but the ones I have got have been good. I’m happy and enjoying it.” 
Xabier Artetxe

Xabier Artetxe

He’s a very professional guy and is combining the WorldTour life with his university life as well.
Artetxe admits he's been impressed with Rodriguez but reiterates that the Spaniard is here to learn.

"We are working with Carlos for the long term," he added. "The goal for these two years is to build a base for him, because the gap from junior level to the WorldTour is very big. We are not working with him to have results in his first two years with us. 
 
"Carlos has impressed us all. He’s a very professional guy and is combining the WorldTour life with his university life as well. It’s been a big step for him in both his sport career and his normal life and he’s impressing in both.
 
"He just did really well in his exams at university and at the same time his training hasn’t been compromised. He has been focused on building up slowly to the volume that a normal WorldTour rider needs to train. It’s not been about intensity for Carlos – it’s been about acclimatising him to the WorldTour volume. We hope he will be able to show a good level in the UAE."

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