Reactions from the Vuelta's ninth stage

Heat, hills and breakaway bandits

David Lopez-Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne) - stage winner, 21st overall @ 3:31:

"In the final kilometres, many attacks occurred. I was scared of riders as strong as Roman Kreuziger and Giampaolo Caruso. I found the right time to go solo and I suffered a lot to maintain my advantage until the finishing line but it was worth it.

In the last kilometre I realised I couldn't lose. It was a lot of suffering but the emotion this win generates is indescribable. I didn't imagine it could be so intense.

People often told me that my skills are bigger than my record book but I've been lucky to work for great captains. My best win so far was the one of Alejandro Valverde at the 2009 Tour of Spain for which I've contributed a lot. Of course this win is important for me.

Igor Anton and myself are both riders from Biscaia sharing the honours today. It means our work has paid off and I hope it'll inspire all the young Basque riders to do the same. I also hope that Caisse d'Epargne will shine again at the Vuelta. There's more serenity in the team since we know that we have a new sponsor for next year [Movistar]."

Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - 16th on stage, overall leader:

"What we did today has been interesting for the spectacle. At the end of the day, I'm happy to preserve my lead rather than let the jersey go to [Omega Pharma-Lotto's Jean-Christophe] Péraud. My team has worked all day.

Maybe people expected more from Purito [Rodriguez] but he's going very well. I believe in Nibali for the overall win, he's fresh."

Jean-Christophe Péraud (Omega Pharma-Lotto) - seventh on stage, fifth overall @ 0:52:

"I believed I could have taken the [leader's] jersey today because I was informed of the gaps. I'm disappointed. It would have been great to be paid back after all the efforts I've made today."

Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) - second on stage, 31st overall @ 6:02:

"I had a good stage for sure but it could have been a bit better. I made the mistake of letting the last guy [David Lopez] go. Even though the average speed [35.101km/h] doesn't show it, it was a very demanding stage. It took a lot of efforts to catch the breakaway and the heat has made our day more than hard. The rest day is most welcome after today's stage."

Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) - 29th on stage, 17th overall @ 2:11:

"We've reached the first rest day of the Vuelta after a really tough start. With the heat and mid-mountain stages, with an altitude difference of nearly 4000 metres today for example, it's been a really hard race.

"The headwinds stopped us from riding faster today and made it hard for any of the teams to ride tactically to break the peloton. It broke at the end, given how hard the rest of the day had been and the pace that we were riding at during the last kilometres.

"We managed to get Oscar Pujol in today's breakaway. He's doing a great Vuelta and he gave it everything he's got. From behind, we were riding at an easygoing pace, and controlling the Euskaltel riders at all times. I tried to be up there with the best and not to lose more time and we just keep pushing on bit by bit in this year's Vuelta a España."

David Moncoutié (Cofidis) - fourth on stage, mountains classification leader:

"I wasn't far from getting two stage wins in two days but at the end I paid for the efforts I produced yesterday. I chased all the attacks down except the last one but this has been another great day. I've ridden well for the king of the mountains classification - that remains my main target at the Vuelta."

Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) - 15th on stage, second overall @ 0:00:

"I tried everything I could to gain time on Igor Anton and take the red jersey but it was simply impossible. I'm disappointed. I absolutely wanted to lead the Vuelta when the race will be in my homeland of Catalunya on Tuesday."

Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) - 19th on stage, 13th overall @ 1:47:

"Hats off to Euskaltel! They did an intelligent job defending their leader's jersey. They rode very well.

"I saw many riders suffering today. Yesterday's stage has created some damage. It's okay that I was disappointed about losing time yesterday, isn't it? I have to admit that after eight weeks without racing, I couldn't do better.

"I must be honest with myself. The rest day tomorrow comes at the right time for me. However, today's stage has brought me the confidence back. I was riding well. I didn't have any problems in the hills like yesterday."

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