Rodolfo Torres: “I’d like to win the best climber jersey in the Vuelta”
Although he didn’t land a win so far, Rodolfo Torres was one of the most consistent cyclists of the year. Kicking off his second pro season in the second half of January, at the 9th edition of the Tour de San Luis, Team Colombia-Coldeportes’ rider put on an impressive display on the climbs, winning the mountain classification and ending second in the overall standings, ahead of the 2014 Giro d’Italia champion, Nairo Quintana.
That was a sign of the things that were to come later in the season, with the 28-year-old Colombian being one of the most aggressive riders in the pack every time the road began to rise, regardless of the race. Thanks to his attacking mode and the constant improvements he’s made, Rodolfo Torres nabbed some more results in important stage races, such as the Giro del Trentino and the Vuelta a Burgos, where he came in the standings ahead of many World Tour cyclists, thus showing his class.
Precisely for these reasons, Rodolfo Torres will be one of the riders to watch out for in the Vuelta a España, which began Saturday, with a team time trial in Andalucia. As was the case in the past, also this year the race has many uphill finishes and more than 40 categorized ascents; for a natural born climber like Torres, this is a great chance to score a big result, so expect to see him lighting up the race every time he has the opportunity.
– Rodolfo, you were one of the season’s pleasant surprises, finishing five stage races in the top 10.
Yes, it has been a strong year for me so far. This comes as a result of the good preparation I’ve had during the winter, when I worked hard in order to reach a good level right away. I felt things went as I wanted, as racing in Europe with a strong pace helped me raise my bar.
– Of all your results, which is the one that makes you the most proud?
Being on the podium in the Tour de San Luis. It was a good race with some strong opponents, including several World Tour riders. Ultimately, it was great to share the podium with Nairo Quintana.
– Do you have any regret?
I would not say there’s a regret I have, as we have tried to put in everything we had time after time. On the other hand, of course we had some unexpected accidents, like the one in Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, or losing a stage by just a few metres in the Tour de Luxembourg.
– Recently, you raced in the Vuelta a Burgos. How was it?
I had pretty good feelings, and in the end I was quite satisfied with our performance in Burgos, both personally and as a team.
– Next up for you is the Vuelta a España, your second Grand Tour, after the 2014 Giro d’Italia.
I am very excited about it and prepared to tackle this race with a different mentality than at the beginning of last year’s Giro. I must say that the Corsa Rosa was a great experience and really helped me to grow as a rider, and now I’m very motivated for the Vuelta.
– What do you think of the course?
It is a hard route, with plenty of mountains, but I think that this makes it good for us, the riders of Colombia-Coldeportes. Besides the climbs, I also expect the crosswinds to take their toll through the race.
– And what goals will you have?
To be combative day after day, to give my best, and possibly go for a stage victory. If it’s possible, I will try to win the best climber jersey, as it means a lot for Colombians, and also for our team. Anyway, it remains to be seen what the plan will be and what task each rider will have.