Joaquim Rodriguez: 2016 is a very attractive year for the climbers

Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez will focus on the Tour de France and Olympic Games in 2016 - his 17th season in the pro peloton

Joaquim Rodriguez at the Saitama Criterium (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

He may be turning 37 next May, but Joaquim Rodriguez is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Katusha rider, who won three Grand Tour stages and finished second overall at the Vuelta a España in 2015, is preparing for his 17th season as a professional and has already set out his big goals.

A challenging Tour de France route and a crack at Olympic Games are the two main aims of Purito's season - a year that he believes is attractive for climbers.

"Next season is an attractive year, which motivates me a lot," Rodriguez told Spanish newspaper AS. "There is the very tough Olympic Games and we have seen recently that the Tour de France route will also be demanding.

"I think with the 2016 [Tour] profile, climbers have sufficient incentives to be highly motivated.

"Those are two are my goals, which practically rules out the Giro d'Italia. The Vuelta remains to be seen, because it will be difficult after the Tour and I want to prepare for the Olympics...we'll see."

Rodriguez may be in the twilight of his career, but he remains a major force in both stage races and the Classics, claiming top-fives in both La Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2015.

But the Spaniard isn't ready to hang up his wheels just yet, claiming that he hasn't thought about when he'll retire.

"I'll be [at Katusha] until they kick me out."

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