By Shane Stokes
Australian Aaron Kemps is in his first year of a pro contract with the Astana team and said that morale was very strong as a result of what has been happening thus far in the Vuelta. "Obviously things have been going really well for us," he told Cyclingnews. "Three stage wins in a row and two guys in the top five – you can't ask for much more. And I think we have got three in the top ten now.
"Personally, I felt a bit ordinary today…I was a little tired after the rest day. I also seem to have one bad day a week – last week it was the fifth day – but the intentions now are to try to keep our two main guys Vinokourov and Kashechkin up there until the time trial and see what happens from there.
"We came into this race with high expectations but I don't think we envisaged getting three stage wins already. I think the morale is pretty high at the moment, especially with two guys up on GC. Everyone wants to work hard and keep them up there. Everyone is fighting to be in the moves, there is always at least one of us up there in each break that goes. That makes it easier for everyone else. And for those that are left in the peloton, they are grabbing water from the car or keeping Vino and Kashechkin out of the wind all day. Having three up there now in the top ten makes it even better."
With the possibility existing that one of the team's riders can win the race, Kemps knows he will be doing a lot of domestique work. However he is hoping to be allowed a bit of freedom later on. "For myself, I am looking to get up there on stage 15. I want to have a go then; it is also my birthday, so I will try to get up on that stage. Until then, I will be working every day for the team, keeping the guys out of the wind."