Danish climber Michael Rasmussen has changed his objectives for the Vuelta a España after getting the 'flu a week ago, as he wrote in his diary on feltet.dk. "Actually, I am still motivated, but my goals have changed slightly. I managed to train three hours in a week where I should have trained 30 hours. Obviously, I have to be realistic and lower the ambitions regarding the classification. Instead I will try to make it in a break."
Rasmussen said that he put on one and a half kilos in that week, and "That is also the reason that I lowered the ambitions for the overall. In order to make it well in the overall classification, you have to be on your marks right from the beginning of the race. It was my plan to race hard from the start, because the classification will probably be set already during the first week. Then I would probably have gone down a little during the final week, since it is my third grand tour this year. But now, we will have to see how things unfold. At least it will be an important preparation for the last part of the season."
The Dane they call 'Chicken' is looking forward to Wednesday's mountain stage. "A lot of things will be settled there. If things goes well and I can sit among the best far up the climb, I might try to stay with a reasonable chance. But, if I realise that I’m in trouble right away, there is no reason for me to ride to the limit in order to loose two minutes. Nothing good will come out of that. In that case it is better to take it easy and just get through."
That might be a stage for his team captain Denis Menchov, who is the virtual defending champion of the Vuelta. "It someone is going to do it in our team, it will be him, but his situation is much different from last year. He has already had a long and impressive season. A stage win on Mont Ventoux (Dauphiné Libéré) as well as a stage win in the Pyrenees and a stylish classification ranking in the Tour. Last year he stood here at the starting line aiming to save his season."