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15 Sep 2017

"I face this race more as a challenge and an adventure than a competition"

Purito Rodríguez reviews his life since leaving professional cycling and his presence at GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano

Fifteen years as a professional, more than 45 victories and one of the most outstanding and beloved members of the professional squad of the Grands Tours. Joaquim Rodríguez is one of the great names of Spanish and world cycling so far this century. His attacks on the most mythical ascents and his generosity in the main group caused that, after the announcement of his retirement, the whole cycling world knew that it went away one of those that make great this sport.

However, despite having left the high competition, Purito, as it is known, has not stopped a second and of course, has not been able to separate from this world. "The adaptation to the 'normal' life did not cost me much, I continue to be linked to a great team like Barhain Mérida and that allows me to continue within this world, and then I have also dared with some MTB and some cycling tour to kill the bug", says the cyclist.

At the end of September he will take the start of the first edition of GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano with his great friend José Antonio Hermida, ambassador and designer of this MTB race in stages. "For me this race is more a challenge and an adventure, than a competition. It is clear thatI will try to squeeze and suffer as much as I can at each stage, but clearly it is not my discipline and I will try to participate only to enjoy the scenery and the environment, without any ambition", says Purito.

Hermida was the one who introduced him to this new world and already participated in Andalucía Bike Race presented by Shimano, with the tutelage of the Olympic silver in Athens 2004. Joaquim is clear that "without him I would not have achieved it, for me he was the best teacher, and I do not say it for his record, or for his quality on the bike, but for his patience and his desire to teach me! I do not know if I had been so patient with him!". Purito says that GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano will be a very fun race, with a lot of trail that all Mountain Bikers that participate in this type of races like. "I do not set any competitive objective, I want to have a great time and finish in one piece", jokes, before adding that running at home opens the possibility to meet more people and have a better time. Purito makes it clear that the important thing is to take it easy: "One thing that marked me a lot in the MTB are the kilometers, they have nothing to do 40 kilometers in mountain than in road, nor 4 hours of MTB to 4 hours of road".

One of the things that most clear is Joaquim is to teach the values ​​of cycling to the young people who climb. In the same way that Hermida is ambassador and designer of GAES Catalunya Bike Race presented by Shimano, Purito is from his own race in Andorra: La Purito. "What started as an illusion I had always had, has almost become a brand! I would never have imagined that wherever I went I would be asked about the Andorran race, but this shows the interest aroused by this sport. If young people, like those in our team, learn that beyond a competitive sport, cycling is a way of life, this sport not only has the route assured, but will increase the number of fans and practitioners.

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