By Monika Prell
Koldo Fernández de Larrea (Euskaltel-Euskadi) finished second in the sixth stage of the Vuelta a España - his best result since his stage win in Tirenno-Adriatico. He admitted that getting second produced a mix of emotions."Actually I feel a mix between joy and rage, in equal shares," he said. "Being second in a Vuelta stage is good, is important, but in the cycling world the only thing that counts is a win. The most positive aspect of this result is that I showed again that if I do a good sprint I am able to win. Logroño was a finish especially for sprinters and I was close to the victory. This gives me a lot of morale, I will continue to try it."
He analysed the last kilometre: "I made an error of positioning in the last kilometre, I lost a lot of places and to come back to the front when you ride together with so many riders of this level is difficult. In the last 150 meters I was able to overtake five or six rivals. I came very fast, but it counts for nothing to say that I had won if the finish line was 50 meters more far away. The white line is for everybody at the same place and I have to work on my positioning. When I reach this, I will have more chances to win."
The 26 year-old Basque is full of admiration for his rival Óscar Freire: "Freire is untouchable, he is very good. I think that he sees the sprint in slow motion, his quality allows him to follow the progression of the finish in a slowed-down way. For the rest of the sprinters, there are things that happen so fast that we even don't notice, we have already enough things to do with ourselves. I believe that Freire has enough time to observe everything and for this reason it's seldom that he does not win when he is in form."
Still, the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider won't give up. "As long as there is life, there is hope, and there are still some stages. Tomorrow in Zaragoza we will have the next opportunity. Freire is super good and the biggest favourite, but I will try to overcome him. Everything is possible when you are motivated, when you are keen on winning and when you have forces. I will give all to win a stage in the Vuelta, this would be a real nice decoration as well for the team as for me," declared Fernández de Larrea.