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Brajkovic training for Vuelta a Espana in Utah

By:
Kirsten Frattini
Published:
August 14, 2011, 01:41,
Updated:
August 14, 2011, 03:00
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, August 14, 2011
Race:
Vuelta a España
Janez Brajkovic (Radioshack) coming in sixth.

Janez Brajkovic (Radioshack) coming in sixth.

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Slovenian showing impressive form sitting in third overall

RadioShack’s Janez Brajkovic has recovered from a head injury sustained at the Tour de France last month and is competing for the overall title at the Tour of Utah that concludes atop the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort on Sunday. He is using the high altitude event as preparation for his and the team’s final major target, the Vuelta a Espana next month.

“The goal was not this race, it is the Vuelta a Espana,” Brajkovic told Cyclingnews. “I did ten days of training at altitude in Italy and then one week in Colorado and now one week here at the Tour of Utah. All together I did three weeks of altitude training to prepare for the Vuelta.”

“My form is quite good here and that makes me very optimistic for the Vuelta,” he said. “Obviously I am not 100 percent yet but I am very happy with my performance so far. I will be one of the leaders at the Vuelta and we also have Andreas Kloden and Tiago Machado.”

Brajkovic is currently sitting in third place overall behind his own teammate Levi Leipheimer. The pair of Grand Tour rode a controlled race on the ‘queen’ stage five that included the event’s only mountaintop finish atop the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, a some 15-kilometre ascent.

Brajkovic was forced to withdrawal early from the Tour de France following a crash on stage five from Carhaix to Cap Frehel that resulted in a head injury. It took a total of two weeks for him to get back in to full-time training.

"I’m OK from that and it didn’t take me long to recover," Brajkovic said. “I was back on the bike after three days and another five day I was on the road. I didn’t have very good training.”

Brajkovic is the current Slovenian time trial champion and placed seventh overall at Paris-Nice. He won the Criterium du Dauphine last year and placed in the top ten at Classica Sarda, Giro di Sardegna, Vuelta a Castilla y Leon and Tour of Romandie.