It was in 2016, as a sophomore, when Eduard Rodés (Barcelona, 8 April 1998) began to take his bicycle much more seriously. Until then, competitions had not been a priority. He was also an atypical cyclist, coming from the world of basketball. In a childhood with no few sporting inclinations, the universe of the basket was the one that had seduced him the longest. “He played basketball from the age of eight,” he recalls. “He was on the team here in Cabrera de Mar. My position was at the base. We played all over the area. I got to be part of a selection of the Region of the Maresme and there was a moment in which I even got to consider playing outside, in some team outside”.
The bike today is the work tool of Eduard Rodés who dreams, like all the amateur squad, in achieving a gap between professionals. “I like the bike, yes, but in the end I like it much beyond the competition itself,” he says. And this goes hand in hand with the typology of some of his past training sessions as well as with leisure-tourism projects that have not yet been completed due to different obligations. As for preparation, he sometimes leaves home on his way to the Pyrenees, where he climbs La Creueta or La Collada de Toses, where he spends the night at the home of a friend who lives in La Cerdanya after a 4,000-metre training session. As for the future plans, in the drawer still awaits the best moment for a ten-day journey between Catalonia and Switzerland through France and Italy; of course by bicycle.
The truth is that at the home of the Rodés Guirao, the protagonism of the bicycles was fundamentally marked by the summer afternoons and the Tour de France. “At home we followed the race on TV every other year”, he remembers. But in the family, the children also had bicycles. “We went out for a ride with our friends, the typical thing, with those 15-kilo bicycles”. Little by little he tried. He even practiced some velodrome. “To try. In the end a bike is expensive and we weren’t going to buy one to buy. What I do I like to do well and I wanted to know if I would continue practicing”.
After some seasons in the Club Ciclista Iluro de Mataró, without any kind of pressure or very clear goals, Rodés went to the Club Ciclista Mollet and there he intensified his cycling side. Basketball was reduced to a few ‘pachangas’ occasions with friends or the monitoring of their current situation. A day by day that follows a lot through the social network Twitter. Eduard now faces his fourth year as U23. That’s experience. “What kind of cyclist am I? I don’t dare to pigeonhole myself. I consider myself a team cyclist, a worker, a hard worker. If I have to choose a speciality, when I’m fit I defend myself well on the climbs. In general I like hard races, I also do well in the cold. And within the race I think I am able to compete well in situations under pressure, with cunning, I know how to think ‘hot’,” he says.
The new rider of the U23 team of the Alberto Contador Foundation began studying Economics at the University, but the demand of the competition invited him to take a break. “I have very clear that I want to continue studying. I enrolled in Economics, but the second year in the category became very hard, especially because it was very important to attend classes and this coincided with the signing by the Aldro Team, which is why I had to settle in Torrelavega. It was very difficult to combine. But then I did a degree in Nutrition, which is a world that I love, I like so much”.
Rodés, in fact, is very fond of cooking his own dishes. “Well, I try to make them entertaining at least. The cyclist’s diet is not very varied. But if the food comes in through your eyes, so much the better. Some spaghetti with zucchini is a simple dish, but more cheerful. Except for cheese or butter, I don’t drink dairy products. I have a brother who is a vegan, it was made from one day to the next because of principles. For me, his is an example and it has even made me think a lot about it. I don’t eat red meat and the meat itself I’ve reduced a lot”.
Questioned by his favourite tests, he takes a long time to decide. “I’m a freak in this sport, I like to soak up all the data in the Procyclingstats,” he jokes. “The Giro de Lombardy or the Strade Bianche are among my favourites in terms of one-day events, I would even say Italian classics in general. By stages, the Tour de France. There’s nothing like it in terms of magnitude. Of course there are also the Flemish classics, which are very exciting to see but the worst to compete in them … Maybe my skills are not the best for those events, but certainly if I had the opportunity to run them I would never say no…. But to race them to win, no. I think that would be impossible”.
Eduard will coincide in the squad with a training partner in the Catalan group like Álex Martín. “He has always told me very well about the Foundation. He’s a great kid. And with a lot of future. You only have to see how his year has been. He has already left samples of his quality in several races, and that is a boy just arrived to the category and that in theory was calm. You could see him coming when he was young, but adaptations are never easy”. And ahead, a very exciting season. “I keep a special affection to the Ronde of l´Isard. I ran it with the Aldro. I felt very good. I would like to come back, if I have the opportunity”.