By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid
Spain's Ruben Plaza felt very bad when he realized Michael Rogers' time took him out of the podium. He didn't want to get out of the hotseat area where the three best riders stayed during the race. He refused to go, even though he knew he was not going to receive a medal. Cyclingnews spoke to him just after he finally left.
"I gave it all," said Plaza. "I fell slightly short. I did a good tempo, but there were moments when I lacked some energy. I ended very badly as I had problems in my chest and I couldn't do more. It's a shame to be so very near the podium and not to step onto it. I have to accept this." About his feelings while the others were riding, he said, "At the moment Rogers was doing the best times, I realized it was going to be difficult to be there on the podium."
Francisco 'Paco' Antequera is Spain's national selector. He was content with the second and the fourth place of the two riders he had chosen. "It was a good time trial," said Antequera. "The shame was that Ruben Plaza couldn't get onto the podium too, however we should congratulate him. Ivan [Gutierrez] has done a very good time trial. Ivan needed a podium like this and in the end it came for him. Gutierrez liked the circuit and he did his utmost. If you like the course, it's much better."
The Spaniards wanted to place two riders on the podium, but due to Michael Rogers and Fabian Cancellara, they couldn't. "Things went that way," said Paco, "We truly wanted two guys in the podium, but we should be satisfied with how things went."
The home team should do a good performance in Sunday's road race, considering they will ride in their own country in front of their fans. Referring to that, Antequera said "Sunday's race is another one; we will see how things go. Now we should enjoy today's results."