By Shane Stokes in Madrid
Egoi Martinez (Discovery Channel) won the Tour de l’Avenir back in 2003 but it is this year’s Vuelta where he finally confirmed that talent, taking the mountains classification and performing strongly in the overall standings. He finished with 129 points in the KOM ranking, as compared to the 117 amassed by Pietro Caucchioli (Credit Agricole) and the 98 gathered by Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears) Team Astana duo Andrey Kashechkin and Alexandre Vinokourov ended the race on 84 and 82 points respectively.
Martinez finished the three week 12th in the general classification, 15 minutes and 10 seconds behind Vinokourov. He was pleased with how the race went. "For me it was a special Vuelta," he told Cyclingnews at the finish. "At times my shape was good [in the pro ranks] but here I had one stage victory, the mountains classification, 12th in the general classification and was part of the best team. So for me it was a very good Vuelta."
When asked what his future direction and goals will be, he said that that would be decided in time. "I don’t know. I think now I have to be happy with this Vuelta result, take satisfaction from it first. This winter I will speak to Johan and see what he wants. Then we can think about next year. Right now, it is time for a holiday!"