Edu Rodés leaves the competition: “It’s time to start a new stage”
Cycling is a wonderful, exciting universe, but it also has an ungrateful component and much of that rough, less friendly side is focused on the hard work of achieving professionalism. Taking the leap is not easy. And the path requires almost absolute dedication not without difficulties. Many share these dreams, but only a few can fulfill them. And, once they are achieved, only a privileged few manage to keep them. Yes, cycling is certainly not easy. And in a season marked by a pandemic and a health emergency, even less so. For Edu Rodés, 2020 will be his last campaign in the competition. The Catalan has decided to hang up his bike. The rider leaves, but the cyclist stays. And there will always be the great person who enjoys both the NBA and a good classic race. A great person.
Edu Rodés (8 April 1998) was one of the six cyclists who joined the Alberto Contador Foundation’s U23 project this season, a campaign in which circumstances have not allowed him to show all his quality nor have they allowed him to have continuity. He made his debut in the Memorial Chineta, with an eighth place finish. He continued to compete in the Memorial Guerrita. Then came the confinement, the stop of all sporting activity, an untimely knee injury with an additional stop and, once the season restarted in July, Memorial Ángel Lozano, Vuelta a Cantabria and another stop forced by the suspension of the races on his calendar. With a view to 2021, Rodés will not remain in the squad. The man from Cabrera de Mar, one of the best-furnished minds on the amateur scene, understood that the moment demanded a change of course. And so, on the eve of his entry into the elite category, Rodés takes a step forward.
“It’s an idea I’ve had in mind for a long time, about which I’ve thought a lot. It’s something that has matured. It was a possibility that I would not continue in the team next season and, if so, I was clear that it was time to put an end to a stage and start a new one. Yes, it is a moment that gives pain, not in vain I entered this world with sixteen years and with a dream that wanted to fulfill yes or yes. But I was very clear that at 24 or 25 I didn’t want to continue in the amateur field. It’s an age when you can be contributing at home, when you can work, start a new path in life… Personally I’m satisfied, happy. I have given all I can in these years. Many friends tell me why I do not continue. I could certainly go on. But there is also a trend in cycling today, you see how even in professional cycling kids of 20, 21 or 22 years old stand out like Remco Evenepoel, like Joao Almeida or like Tadej Pogacar. That is something that cannot be ignored. Now it’s my turn to enjoy the bike, but without a bib. And for other things I’m young. I have many ideas and projects”, he explains.
For Rodés, his time in the U23 team has been a great experience, despite the condition of the coronavirus. “It has been a very strange year for the COVID-19, but apart from this it has been very nice. When I went through the Aldro was when I really seriously considered fighting for professionalism. It was a year in which the bicycle occupied 24 hours of my day. So when the team disappeared for me it was a downturn. Somehow it made 2019 a year of transition for me. A hard year, where I worked very hard. It was clear to me that I was the one who had to give up cycling, not that cycling would leave me. And on that road I was lucky enough to come to the Foundation. Here all riders have been trusted equally, we have all had our chances, we are all equal. It has been a pity all this final part of the season. In August we all had our calendar and it has been a nuisance that a good part of the races in the end were not done. In September I had a fuller schedule and finally the situation was as it was. I have had the opportunity to meet wonderful people, great professionals. Rafa Díaz Justo… I have had a lot of contact with Carlos Barredo, who has done his best for us. He is a true professional, you can tell he likes and lives this world and not only transmits it to you, but also gives you a lot of peace of mind and support”.
The Barcelona rider was waiting for the end of the season to face some experiences with saddlebags in Catalan territory. He will carry out the plans, although when the circumstances allow it. And he will even try to count on the company of his friend, route companion and also team member Álex Martín. “He is a great rider, with a lot of quality, he has a great future. I think that he is in the best place to continue progressing”, he points out. About his imminent plans, his culinary concerns have aroused many curiosities related to the world of bread. Edu Rodés has always been interested in the world of nutrition and has been very receptive to learning about and experimenting in the kitchen. During his confinement he perfected his bread-making skills. “It all started as a hobby, but I am going to continue training. In a few days I will start a course given by the bakers’ guild in Barcelona”.
Edu Rodés, the boy who played basketball since he was eight years old before changing sports a few years later, the Economics student who, on a bicycle, counted during the pre-season, did not dare to be pigeonholed, retires. “I’m a working man,” he said at the time. “I’ve never been a superclass,” he insists now. “It’s always difficult for me to get started. I need to train a lot and in the end it is that mixture of competition and training that gives you the rhythm. I love racing, I enjoy racing. And it’s not that I was getting better as the days went by, but I did keep up and that in the end always gave me that extra edge over other rider. The year has been like that. Training one day, and another, and another, doing series… without the certainty of knowing if you will be able to run in the end it also becomes hard. The category is hard. Cycling is hard. But it’s a toll that you have to pay if you want to become a professional. I had a great time. It’s time to enjoy it from the outside”, he concludes.
📷 @lopezsport_(1), Mónica del Campo (2), Fran Almería (3 y 4)
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)