By Shane Stokes in Madrid
Martinez’ teammate Janez Brajkovic had a sensational first week, finishing second on a mountain stage and then taking the leader’s jersey for two days. The former espoir world champion is just 22 years of age and that youth eventually took it’s toll, with the Slovenian becoming more tired as the race progressed and eventually finishing 30th, 50’49 off the maillot oro.
However, his performance is undoubtedly a sign of a very bright future; most riders reach their optimum shape after 27 or 28 years of age, so it is clear that Brajkovic is one to watch.
He told Cyclingnews today that he was tired but happy at the end of the Vuelta. "For me the race was good. The first week was amazing, I was pretty much okay in the second week but the third week was hard for me. Anyway, I think I will be back next year, more experienced, stronger, and I should be a little bit higher in the GC. But I still need a few years to improve myself.
"This has of course been good for my confidence. That said, I am not surprised what happened with me [riding so well early on].. I have one goal and I will do everything I can to achieve it."