By Shane Stokes in Ponferrada
Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara has two goals at this Vuelta. The main one is to help pave the way for a potential victory by CSC team leader Carlos Sastre, second on stage seven and currently third overall, and the second is to build form for the world time trial championships later this month. The Swiss rider seemed happy with things thus far at the start village on Friday morning.
"The racing is going well, every day is a bit better and the team is strong," he said. "We are in a great way for Carlos. We will see how things go over the next few hard stages but it is going well.
"I think that today's [mountain] stage should not be any problem for Carlos. We are holding back a little as regards the riding we are doing because we are not here to kill the team in the early mountain stages. The Vuelta is long and the stages in the mountains are really hard. We will do things in a good way."
"Personally, my first goal is to be here for the team, to work for them, but I can also build form for the world championship time trial at the same time. It is good preparation for that, and each day I am feeling stronger. I won't go for a road stage but will try to win the next time trial. We will see what happens after that, how I feel."