Just one second behind in the overall classification, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) says he can only be satisfied despite such an agonisingly near miss. Contador missed out on the stage 11 Vuelta time trial to Pontevedra by 17 seconds to Fredrik Kessiakoff. He now sits one second off the leader, Joaquim Rodriguez, with Chris Froome third, at 16 seconds.
“The most important thing is my sensations were very good, and every day I’m feeling stronger.”
“The Vuelta starts now, and I’m in a good position with my terrain, the mountains, still to come. There’s a long way yet to go, and this has only just begun.”
Another satisfied Spaniard was Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), saying that “I knew this time trial wasn’t bad for me, but I’m very pleased. I’m still in the fight and I didn’t expect to be doing so well. The overall classification isn’t over for me.”
“[Team-mates Jonathan] Castroviejo and Beñat Intxausti were my two reference points, and I kept a steady rhythm throughout.”
Asked if he resented what had happened on stage four to Ezcaray, where had it not been for the crash and echelon, he would not have lost nearly a minute, Valverde said “what’s the point in looking back? You’ve just got to think about the future, and right now I can be very pleased with how it’s looking.”
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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