Beating the best
At the finish of Stage 3, the big names were in Almendralejo - Erik Zabel, Robbie McEwen, Alessandro Petacchi and Thor Hushovd. The bunch sprint came but none of them prevailed. On that day, it was Francisco Ventoso who had his moment of glory. Hernan Alvarez Macias found out what it's like to beat the best.
From that moment on, his name didn't sound strange to many cycling fans. He is another rider who comes from the interminable youth categories of Spanish cycling, and in the future, Francisco Ventoso may be another great sprinter like Oscar Freire.
When Cyclingnews caught up with him after Stage 11 in Burgos, he said of day: "Today [September 6] it was what we call a transition stage," said Ventoso "but with the climbs at the beginning and the tension in the peloton, together with the wind, the stage wasn't very comfortable in the end."
He was also among the riders who made the right breakaway in Stage 10. "We arrived in Cantabria, which is my home town, and I really wanted to get in the right breakaway. I was lucky to get in it but I couldn't finish off the job in the finale," stated Ventoso. The Spanish rider finished fifth that day, 7 seconds behind the winner Sergio Paulinho of Astana.
Francisco Ventoso is having a good season; before his win in Stage 3, he had already been doing well. "I had good results during the whole season," he said. "In the Vuelta a Valencia, Paris-Nice... in the classics in Belgium, I did pretty well too. In the Tour [de France], I never went better than seventh place, but here in the Vuelta a España, I was rewarded and I was able to win, beating all the big guns."
Click here to read the full interview.