By Antonio J. Salmerón
Ezequiel Mosquera (Karpin Galicia) is one of the great surprises in the 62nd Vuelta a España. The 31 year-old rider was impressed that the general classification men came out fighting so early in yesterday's stage 18, and he is prepared to battle for his overall position as the race continues for Madrid.
"I did not think that an attack was going to happen so early, and one in which all the podium candidates were involved," said Mosquera, currently sixth overall, to Cyclingnews. "Sastre attacked, but Menchov reacted quickly, and also the others, but not [Manuel] Beltrán and [Vladimir] Efimkin. All of that surprised me.
"The Mijares climb was a very hard. It was very difficult to hold Menchov's wheel.
"Now, Efimkin is only eight seconds behind me, so I will try to have a strong performance in Abantos climb [today]. Although, he is better than me in the time trial," Mosquera concluded.