© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images
Carlos Rodríguez won stage 14 of the Tour de France this year
Carlos Rodríguez agrees four-year deal at Ineos Grenadiers
Spanish rider finalises terms and will sign next week
Editor in Chief
The deal has been agreed between the rider and his current team and will be signed in the next week, according to sources close to the negotiations.
The Spanish rider had been on the cusp of joining Movistar for 2024 after he signed a letter of intent to sign back in 2022. Ineos appeared desperate to keep the rider who won a stage and finished fifth in the Tour de France with Dave Brailsford taking control over the negotiations during the summer.
There had also been interest from Bora-Hansgrohe but Ineos have managed to keep a prized GC asset after losing several key stars to rival teams over the last few months. The move to keep Rodríguez virtually assures the Spaniard of a leadership role in the Tour de France next year, and perhaps - in the short term - ends recent speculation involving a move for Remco Evenepoel from Soudal Quick-Step.
- Carlos Rodríguez signed a pre-contract with us, says Movistar team boss
- Ineos Grenadiers ice transfer deals as speculation over Evenepoel and mergers persist
Speaking exclusively to GCN last week, Movistar boss Sebastián Unzué spelt out his team’s then-position on the rider’s transfer situation, and remained incredibly calm over the possible outcome of losing the high-flying 22-year-old.
“He still has a pre-contract with us and that’s the reality of the situation. That’s all I can tell you. Ineos’ interest has been there for quite a few months and they’ve been trying to convince him to stay but nothing has been finalised in terms of being with Ineos. That’s the reality,” Unzué told GCN.
Over the weekend Movistar’s stance weakened, perhaps under the realisation that Rodriguez was a lost cause.
From an Ineos Grenadiers point of view the deal to keep Rodríguez is of huge significance. Tao Geohegan Hart, Pavel Sivakov, Ben Tulett, and Dani Martinez are among a number of high profile departures, while the team also iced deals involving Carlos Verona and former world time trial champion Tobias Foss. Verona is set to join Lidl-Trek in the off-season while Foss remains on the market.
Ineos are set to re-sign a raft of other riders, including Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Omar Fraile, but those deals have yet to be signed. With Rodríguez set to sign in the coming days the likelihood is that more signatures follow as the British WorldTour team begins to finally make moves on the market.