Finland's road race champion Kjell Carlstrom is riding shotgun for Liquigas team leader Ivan Basso in the race, and said that the team will watch out for a possible move by Samuel Sanchez on today’s stage to Cordoba.
The stage finishes with two ascents of the category two Alto de San Jerónimo and with a technical descent down to the finish and it is clear that the Basque rider might try to make up some time there. He’s currently third overall in the general classification, 1’10 behind Alejandro Vavlerde, and 18 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Basso.
"I don’t think there will be a bunch sprint today. I think there will be 30 riders ahead and it will all happen on those last two climbs," said Carlstrom at the start. "I think Euskaltel will want to keep it together until then and then try something on the final descent with Sanchez…especially if it is raining."
Carlstrong said that he was starting to feel tired in the Vuelta, but that it was expected in the final week. He downplayed any talk that he might go in breakaways, although that’s nothing to do with fatigue. "I probably won’t go on the attack. Ivan is fourth overall, and we also have to work for Bennati. I think that he could win a stage. He’ll be up against Ciolek, Greipel and Bozic but it’s possible.
"As for Ivan, I hope he can still move up the general classification. There is still the day after the Avila stage with Navacerrada to be climbed twice. And there is still the time trial, too."