By Monika Prell
Vladimir Karpets, the winner of the first stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, a ten kilometre individual time-trial, was very content about his win. According to Marca, after the podium presentation, he declared, "I am really very happy, last year I finished many time trials in second or third position but I was unable to win one." It was the 26 year-old's first victory since he won the Vuelta a la Rioja in 2004.
"The riders who started in the first positions were lucky because it was not raining yet but that was no longer the case when I started," the Russian explained of his win. "But in spite of the change in weather I was able to win, and, as a consequence, I am very confident for the coming stages."
Caisse d'Epargne will fight for the leadership. Karpets thinks that "the decision could come in the fourth stage, the one that arrives at the top of the Alto de Navacerrada. ... Considering the high level of competition, the fight will be a hard one and it will not be easy to win it, but we will fight."
Oscar Pereiro, finished 43 seconds behind Karpets, and commented, "First of all, I am very happy because one of my teammates won today and that always gives me a great satisfaction. Personally things went exactly the way I expected. I preferred to take no risks because the road was wet and as a consequence the bends were very dangerous."
He is still working to reach his competition form. "I have to work to find the rhythm and I know that I will have to suffer in the next races, but that is normal," he concluded. "I am very optimistic and happy to be back racing."