By Bjorn Haake in Escaldes - Engordany, Andorra
Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) finished second on Saturday on top of the Alto de Naturlandia on the Vuelta a España. Unlike many of his rivals, Mosquera did not complain about the weather. The rain and cold didn't prevent him from attacking the select group, of which he was a member, in the final kilometres.
"I do well in the rain, I don't know why." He even escaped Alberto Contador (Astana) in the final kilometres. Contador certainly was trying to catch his compatriot, but in the end he had given up three seconds. The other favourites in the group, notably Levi Leipheimer (Astana) and Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank), conceded a further five seconds.
It wasn't the first time Mosquera noticed his poor-weather abilities. "In the Vuelta al País Vasco, the weather was mostly bad and I was doing well. But the one day it was nice, I lost minutes." That loss came in the individual time trial, so for him, the discipline may have played a role as much as the weather.
On Sunday up to the Pla de Beret Mosquera in stage eight, Mosquera showed that he can perform well in hot temperatures, too. He finished the day in the Sastre-Leipheimer group and moved up to fifth place overall.
Despite his good results this season, Mosquera is not currently thinking about moving to a bigger team. "Now I am only thinking about the Vuelta. I am not pre-occupied about next year. It is distracting and I think my legs wouldn't be as good if I also had to think [about] switching teams."
Instead he wants to finish the Vuelta a España well and then focus on facing his next challenge, the Vuelta Chihuahua Internacional on October 7-14. Fortunately for Mosquera, he is starting to get better in the hot weather and won't have to rely on the rain anymore. As for the terrain in the upcoming race, he admits he isn't as well prepared. "I don't know what the route is like or if it is mountainous."
Nonetheless, he is looking forward to the experience. "It will be nice to see a different country and encounter different mentalities." With the way Mosquera has been racing this season, he could end up on a larger team soon and with more opportunities to race in different countries.