"I dream of the highest in Ineos, maybe it looks like Bernal"

The 18-year-old Spanish will wear the colors of the British team after leaving the ranks of the Kometa Cycling.


Carlos Rodríguez (Almuñecar, 18 years old), will change in a few days the jersey of the Alberto Contador Foundation Kometa for that of the Ineos, the team of Egan Bernal, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, the last winners of the Tour de France, an unexpected jump that awakens the highest dreams of the Andalusian cyclist.

King of the Spanish calendar during his two years in the junior category, with two national time trial championships (2018 and 2019) and a stage in the Volta a Valencia, against elite-sub23 rivals, his international successes in the Tour de Gironde (2019), the bronze in the European online (2018) and the sixth in the Paris-Roubaix (2018) did not go unnoticed in the eyes of the talent scouts.

The technicians of the Ineos were set in Carlos Rodríguez, resident in Malaga, where he studies mechanical and electrical engineering. By mid-July, I already knew I was going to wear the Ineos jersey, the best team on the World Tour, and in October the commitment for 4 seasons was completed.

"It is a dream come true, the aspiration that every runner pursues is fulfilled. I go to the best team in the world, and it is true that it produces a bit of vertigo, but I am prepared for the retro, not to win, but to help the equipment as necessary, "the Andalusian cyclist told EFE.

A jump from youth to professional of the highest category that Rodríguez does not recommend "to the majority of youth" runners, although in his case he considers that he meets the premise of being prepared "physically and mentally". "It is a very strong change, but I have spoken with my coach and my representative and we decided to take the step. It was not a decision taken lightly, but the product of analyzing my data and seeing if I can be at the level of the World Tour. I start with the idea of being able to compete, even if it's not to win. Going to the Ineos is the best option to develop as a cyclist ".

At the moment the premiere will be an unknown, something "that will be seen next year". "I am not going to stand out, I simply want to give a level in the races that allows me to at least not get off the first kilometer and especially learn as much as possible. I will have to adapt to the requirement of going to the limit all year."

Rodríguez has mirrors to look at, cases of juveniles turned into professionals, and also with great triumphs, such as the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, winner of the San Sebastian Classics, and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, third in the Tour with three stage wins. "They are two talents of cycling. Each one is different, but I don't compare myself with any, they have their genetics and conditions. I would like to be at their level in the future, but next year I do not seek to be at their level, there are to go little by little ".

In a few days, Rodriguez will coincide in the first concentration of the Ineos with his idols, among which he will have many examples to follow. He emphasizes his admiration for the four-time Tour winner Chris Froome, "personally, for how he takes care of himself and the spirit of sacrifice." If it's about looking for some similarity, Carlos Rodríguez dares to point out Colombian Egan Bernal. "It may seem a bit like him because of the conditions. I consider myself a climber who is doing well with the clock, with a speed tip, reaching that level is my aspiration, the goal. I don't know if I will succeed, but you have to point high- This is like in the studios, if you go for a 10 you get a 7, but if you go for the 5 they give you a 3 ".

Rodríguez believes that being a good timekeeper "is a necessary feature in current cycling" and is considered as "a complete cyclist, the best in nothing, although I defend myself in everything" - Everything has happened very fast for this promise of Spanish cycling that since Nilo stood out in the practice of any sport, until he discovered in the cadet category that his thing was the road bike.

Now the future opens up on the horizon. He dreams of winning the Tour de France one day, like his admired Alberto Contador, some of the important classics or even the World Cup. "Alberto Contador is my example to follow, because of the way he had to get into the races, always attacking to win. This year I have followed his style. Now I come to Ineos to do what they tell me, but if I can attack I will and I will do my best ".



Photos from as.com
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