While Saturday's Vuelta stage did not present any serious challenges for the favourites, today's mountainous Stage 9 to Alto de La Cobertoria will be a different story.
"Tomorrow is crucial, and I think it will be the toughest stage in this race," said CSC's directeur sportif at the race, Kim Andersen, in a team statement.
"The pace was ferocious at the beginning [of Stage 8], but it calmed down a bit later and a break got away. We didn't have any big plans, so we just stayed with the peloton."
"It will be exciting to see how far Carlos can take it [today], but the way he's doing at the moment, we should have a good chance," he said.