Stijn Devolder of Discovery Channel has given up his ambitions for the Vuelta a España general classification, and the 28 year-old Belgian will use the rest of the race as preparation for the upcoming World Championships, September 30. "Eleventh or fifteenth, what difference does it make?" questioned team leader Dirk Demol on Sportwereld.be. "He might try to give it his all again on Saturday in the time trial, but that will be it. Give him a week's rest afterwards, and then I am sure he will be at top level in Stuttgart."
Devolder took over the leader's jersey after the stage eight time trial, in which he finished third. He lost it the next day to Denis Menchov, and dropped to sixth overall. He is currently in 11th place, over eight minutes behind Menchov, who still leads. The Belgian went down hard in the 14th stage, hurting his knee. "I can't say that it is entirely in order," Demol admitted. "Stijn is still in a lot of pain. He can't walk normally, but he doesn't believe in giving up. As it stands now, his Worlds participation is not in danger."