By Shane Stokes in Madrid
Discovery Channel rider Stijn Devolder was 18th in the time trial on Saturday, finishing 1’48 behind winner Alexandre Vinokourov and a fraction outside the top ten. "The course was difficult and I felt tired, so I am glad it is over," he told Cyclingnews. "I will stay 11th overall so it is good."
Devolder came into the race expecting to ride for Tom Danielson but the American lost time in the early mountains. Consequently, Devolder was able to finish high up on GC, and said that he was satisfied with his final position.
"I didn’t expect anything in particular before the Vuelta, as regards where I would end up. I was here to do as well as possible so I guess 11th is a very good place," he said.
Next up is the world championships. "This race was my goal, the Vuelta, so now I have no more pressure for the rest of the season," he continued. "I would like to do as well as possible, but I am satisfied. Before then I will spend one day with my wife and daughter. It will be good to recharge the batteries and relax."