Carlos Rodríguez is one of the young talents of Spanish cycling. In his first top-level campaign with INEOS Grenadiers he was one of the best in the Vuelta a España and managed to win the Spanish road championship, beating some very strong rivals.
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Carlos Rodríguez Cano was born in Almuñecar, Almería, on February 2, 2001. His first memory on a bicycle recalls when he took the wheels off his bike when he was a child and his father encouraged him to go down a hill and I didn't even realize that he had them off and since then he didn't stop.
"It was something progressive, to go competing in more and more distant places, little by little he was doing more national races and I was getting results that allowed me to go to the Foundation, which was a key step in his career," he commented on his beginnings in a video of the Spanish Cycling Federation.
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The Almeria native has been able to combine his studies with cycling despite how hard it was to come back from training and instead of resting he had to open a book. His first big race was the Paris-Roubaix Junior, where he finished sixth and admitted he felt very comfortable on the pavé (something very rare for a Spanish rider).
That same year 2018, as a junior, he managed to win the time trial and finished fourth overall in the Tour de Gironde and won another stage and finished fifth in the Trophée Centre Morbihan. He was seventh in the European under 23 time trial and won in that same discipline the Spanish junior championship. He was seventh in the European under 23 time trial and won in that same discipline the Spanish junior championship.
In 2019 he finished 15th in Gent-Wevelgem junior, but was unable to finish Roubaix this time. He won the overall at the Tour de Gironde and finished sixth in Morbihan. He won again the time trial of the Spanish junior championships, although he didn't have a great role neither in the Europeans nor the World Championships.
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In 2020, already competing with INEOS Grenadiers for the WorldTour, Rodriguez did not obtain any great result but he was riding in races like the UAE Tour, the Vuelta a Burgos, the BinckBank Tour or one-day races like the Giro della Toscana, the Coppa Sabatini, the Giro dell'Appennino, the Scheldreprijs or the Bruges-De Panne.
In 2021 he consolidated himself in the peloton. He started with a 17th place in the Tour de la Provence and finished 7th in the Grand Prix Industria & Artigianato. He finished 4th in the Vuelta a Andalucía after a great performance and raced his first Critérium du Dauphiné (finished 33rd).
Then, after being third in the elite road nationals behind Ion Izagirre and David de la Cruz and eighth in the time trial, he raced the Tour de l'Avenir. After a great week he won the last stage and finished second just 7 seconds behind the Norwegian Tobias Johannessen. He finished the year 10th in the Tour of Britain and competed in Flanders in his first elite World Championships. He finished 25th in the time trial and 53rd in the road race.
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If 2021 was the year of his consolidation in the international peloton, 2022 was the year of his uprising. Already from his first race in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana he showed his power finishing on the podium behind two riders of the stature of Aleksandr Vlasov and Remco Evenepoel and ahead of Enric Mas and Alejandro Valverde.
He followed that up with a fourth place in the Vuelta Andalucía, a fifth in the Trofeo Laigueglia and a creditable 20th in the Strade Bianche. In the Volta a Catalunya he finished 15th and then, in the Itzulia, he achieved his first great victory as a professional when he won the fifth stage finishing in Mallabia ahead of Daniel Martinez, Evenepoel, Ion Izagirre and Enric Mas;
After making his debut in Liège-Bastogne-Liège without much luck, he came close to his first stage race victory in La Route d'Occitanie (second behind Michael Woods). After the French race he proved his quality by finishing fourth in the Spanish time trial championship, winning the road race of the aforementioned Spanish championship and finishing fifth in the Clásica de San Sebastián.
He then raced the Vuelta a Burgos, which he finished in seventh position. He then faced his first Vuelta a España, in which he performed at a high level alongside Remco Evenepoel, Enric Mas and Primoz Roglic during almost all the mountain stages. When he was fighting for the third place on the podium with Juan Ayuso, he suffered a crash in stage 18 that made him finish seventh overall. As we say, great performance on his part. He finished the season with a meritorious fifth place in Il Lombardia.