One of the most on-form riders at the end of the season, Carlos Barredo, was a natural inclusion in the Spanish national team for the world championships. The news about his selection came the day after the winner of the Vuelta a España's mythical stage 15 at the Lagos de Covadonga finished eighth in the 46km time trial in the vineyards of Peñafiel.
"Normally I can time trial pretty well, but I'm not used to making the top 10," Barredo told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 18 in Valladolid. "It was a really nice ride. Actually, after Denis Menchov passed me, his presence motivated me a lot. I stayed 50 metres behind him and I gave everything."
Barredo's time trial performance was rooted in the morale-boosting victory in stage 15 "where I discovered my passion for bike racing as a kid. That stage win was important for the team as well."
After four years at Quick Step, the 29-year-old will join Rabobank next year. "I felt really good here [at Quick Step] but this is cycling," he said. "This is...business. Rabobank will have a strong Spanish flavour next year with Oscar Freire, Juan Manuel Garate and Luis Leon Sanchez. Luis Leon and I started together at Liberty Seguros with Alberto Contador. We had a strong group of young guys with Daniel Navarro, José Joaquin Rojas, Jesus Hernandez, Javier Ramirez Abeja...and we're still good friends."
Before being reunited at Rabobank, Barredo and Sanchez will ride together for the Spanish national team at the world championship in Geelong, Australia. Barredo made his breakthrough at the international level when he won stage 3 of the 2006 Tour Down Under.
"I remember the finishing town was Yankalilla and the weather was so hot that day that the tarmac was melting," Barredo said. "I haven't been to Australia since, and I'm delighted to go back on this occasion because we have the possibility to win with Oscar Freire. All the Spanish riders selected for the Worlds have great form now and we'll all ride for one captain. There's no other option."