Ezequiel Mosquera is set to finish second overall in the Vuelta a Espana today in Madrid, just 41 seconds behind Vincenzo Nibali, but he has no regrets about missing out on victory in his home stage race.
Mosquera finished fifth in last year’s Vuelta and fourth in 2008 but his aggressive riding and fierce duel with Nibali has lifted him into a new dimension in the absence of Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde. He is likely to leave his Xacobeo-Galicia team for Vacansoleil for 2011, but knows it is now time to move on and begin a new, final part of his career away from the team from his home region in northern Spain.
“I am very, very satisfied (with second place). Maybe I regret losing a few seconds on stages like Xorret or Jaén. Maybe I should have attacked a little sooner, but you have to have a lot of respect for Bola del Mundo. Everyone came into the finale a little scared. You cannot live with regrets,” Mosquera said.
“You have just to keep fighting and look for opportunities. I gave everything I could. I couldn’t give anything more. I am satisfied because I won the stage that had been escaping me so far in the Vuelta and to finish on the podium behind Nibali is nothing to be ashamed of.”
“I was always fighting for places of honour. When you get close, it makes you fight harder even though you sometimes think it may never arrive. There were so many Gallegos and so much support for me, it really made a difference.”
“To come close to winning the Vuelta is the biggest thing for a Spanish rider. Every year, as you get older, the more you have to train and struggle. This year, I really didn’t get into the shape that I wanted until late into the spring. I kept fighting and now the last part of this season has been the best of my career.”
Mosquera refused to specifically say if he had agreed to ride for Vacansoleil in 2011 but hoped that the Spanish team will survive in 2011.
“I proud to have achieved this result with the Xacobeo-Galicia team and hope the team carries on in the future,” was all he would say before the final stage to Madrid.