Team INEOS have announced the signing of Spanish rider Carlos Rodriguez. Hailing from Granada, the 18 year-old has greatly impressed at the junior level of the sport, winning the Gipuzkoa Klasika, in addition to overall success at the Tour de Gironde.
A two-time Spanish Junior time trial champion, Rodriguez has demonstrated considerable all-round capabilities whilst riding for his country in Nations Cup events, in addition to the Kometa Cycling junior team. Signing a four-year deal with Team INEOS, Rodriguez will combine his racing with university, where he is studying for a degree in engineering.
On signing for the team, Rodriguez said: “To be a part of Team INEOS is incredible. You can see that young riders are doing so well within this team. They are surrounded by the best people and it’s the best option to develop myself as a cyclist. I’m looking forward to learning from the best riders and staff in the sport.
“At this stage in my career I think of myself as an all-round rider. Being consistent across the different disciplines is my strength, but I like the climbs and the tough races.
“I am under no illusions it is a big step up to the professional level. The training is going to be harder and the races much faster. I think that if I work hard, step by step, I can progress and adapt myself to the WorldTour. That’s my main objective for the next few seasons and I’m in the best place to do that.”
Team INEOS Coach Xabier Artetxe has been impressed by what he’s seen from Rodriguez and explained how the team will look to aid his development.
He said: “Carlos has achieved some really good results in Spanish races and in the last two or three years he’s been one of, if not the best rider of his age. He was really motivated and he had all the options in his hands. He chose this one – to become a WorldTour rider and develop step by step. The most important thing is to have a really clear focus on where he is now, and where he’s going in the future. it’s going to be a big step and a challenge. We need to take care of him.
“He’ll start from zero, learn everything and find his place in professional cycling. I think he’s going to be a really good climber in the future. He’s an exciting talent, a bright guy doing a university course in engineering. It’s an important focus for him, keeping up his studies and his cycling.
“The goal is to be in a position where he can learn as much as possible. It’s not about the results or how he performs in the races. He’ll be in training camps and races with some of the best riders in the world and learn from them. He’s in the best university that he can be in for cycling, and if he’s smart then he’s going to absorb all this experience.”