Tom Danielson (Garmin-Transitions) will look to cement his place in the top ten of the Vuelta with a strong performance in today’s 46km individual time trial in Peñafiel.
The American currently sits seventh overall, 4:29 down on race leader Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) and with five stages remaining could beat his best ever finish in a grand tour – 8th overall in the 2005 Vuelta.
Danielson is perhaps not one of the stronger riders against the clock in the top ten at the Vuelta but he is motivated and apparently fresher than many of his rivals.
“We’ll see what happens. It’s the last few days of a difficult grand tour so it’s hard to say how things will play out. Of course on paper it might look one way but it’s up to an individual to put it all together. I won’t lie though, I’m excited about the time trial,” Danielson told Cyclingnews.
“I’ll finish with nothing left and there won’t be any excuses. I’ll do the best I can do.”
Danielson got off to a slow start at the Vuelta this year, losing time on the first testing stages but has come into form over the last week, posting a strong result on stage 16, where he attacked with Frank Schleck and Carlos Sastre. Despite fading on the last climb the performance was enough to see him rise up the standings to his current placing.
“It’s really easy to make predictions on how the rest of the race will go but we can see that everyone is fighting for everything and it’s been a very demanding race. You never know what lies ahead and I’m going to take it day by day. The only thing that concerns me is the time trial. When we roll into Madrid, whatever position I’m in, I’ll be happy with it.”
“So far I’ve done the best I could and every day I’m feeling better and I hope to get stronger as the race goes on and keep the good performances going.”
With the Vuelta set for a dramatic conclusion this weekend, Danielson plans to see his family and race in Europe for the remainder of the season, however he wouldn’t rule out a place at Worlds.
“I would love to go to the Worlds and help Tyler [Farrar]. The only thing is we’ve just had a baby and I’ve not seen my family for two months because I’ve been preparing for this race. If I was going to Australia it would be another three weeks without them,” he said.
“My five month old son is coming here tomorrow and the team would like me to do some races in Europe later on. I can’t rule anything out though but I’d need to speak with my family before any decision.”