The last time Warren Barguil (Giant-Shimano) left the province of Granada in the Vuelta a España, in September 2013, he was swathed in bandages after a bad crash and could barely walk. Fast forward 12 months, though, and it’s a very different story.
At La Zubia’s summit finish on stage six the Giant Shimano pro finished 11th on the stage and is now lying ninth overall. “It was a very hard climb, particularly with the heat. About two kilometres to go I lost contact with the front group, but I continued at my own pace and raced well, I didn’t crack,” Barguil told Cyclingnews shortly before the race headed north out of the province of Granada to the northern Andalusian town of Alcaudete.
“Really it couldn’t have gone much better. I was aiming to be in the mix for as long as possible, and I came through well. So far this has been a good race for me, particularly if you bear in mind that this has the best-quality field of any Grand Tour this year.”
“I am still worried about crashing, particularly because the roads are so slippery at the roundabouts.”
Barguil had an excellent Vuelta last year, taking two stages - one against Rigoberto Urán at the ski station of Formigal. “This year I haven’t done any reconnaissance at all, unlike last season when I went to see some of the Pyrenean stages of the Vuelta.”
“But the plan was go for the overall before the race, and this is still the same now.”
Barguil had experienced some pain in his left leg early in the race, L’Equipe reported, but the pain is receding fast, to the point where he is now in excellent shape. And with seven summit finishes to come, the young Frenchman will have plenty of opportunities to make further inroads on the overall classification.