Bodnar backs Basso in Vuelta, debut Grand Tour

Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) takes a turn.

Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) takes a turn. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

Poland's Maciej Bodnar is supporting Ivan Basso towards the Vuelta a España overall victory. Bodnar and the Liquigas team are off to a good start, he and three of his teammate finished in the top ten of the opening time trial.

"Body" placed tenth at 19 seconds back from winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank). Teammates Daniele Bennati, Roman Kreuziger and Ivan Basso finished fifth, sixth and eighth.

"I did not think to finish in the top ten, maybe only a top 20. It was a great day for Liquigas," Bodnar told Cyclingnews.

Bodnar, 24, became professional with Liquigas in the middle of the 2007 season. He has worked well within the team and now is racing in his first Grand Tour in support of 2006 Giro d'Italia winner, Basso.

"I have my work cut out for me here in the Vuelta, working on the flat stages. I am not thinking of escapes, the first goal is getting Ivan the jersey. Here in Holland the roads are always left and right, tight, it is not easy."

The 64th Vuelta a España, August 29 to September 20, starts with four stages in The Netherlands and Belgium before it transfers to Spain. The riders will start racing in Spain on Thursday. They will use Wednesday to rest and travel from the end of stage four in Liège, Belgium.

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Bodnar prepared for the Vuelta starting with a training camp at altitude in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He raced Tour de Pologne, Vattenfall Cyclassics and the Eneco Tour prior to the Vuelta. He felt the benefits of the training with "great legs", he said.

"I did well yesterday, helping Ivan stay protected from the wind on the nervous stage yesterday."

Bodnar signed a new one-year contract with Italy-based Liquigas prior to the Eneco Tour. He hopes to continue developing while working in the services of the team leaders.

"I hope to one day win a Spring Classic: Sanremo, Flanders or Roubaix. They are my races, my dream."

The Vuelta a España continues today with what should be a sprinters' stage. The 185-kilometre stage takes the riders from Zutphen to Venlo, Netherlands.

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