Alberto Contador’s (Tinkoff-Saxo) disappointment at losing the pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia didn’t last long as the Spaniard stormed back into the race lead with an impressive time trial performance during stage 14. Many of the overall classification riders struggled but Contador’s time was enough to put him in third on the day and take a big lead in the overall classification.
Richie Porte was one of those to struggle in the time trial, apparently suffering from a knee injury he sustained in yesterday’s crash. There was some salvation for Team Sky, though, as Vasil Kiryienka took the stage win. He’ll return to his duties as domestique come tomorrow’s mountain stage but the time trial was his chance to shine.
Here is a selection of reactions from today’s stage.
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
"I’m really happy. My legs are absolutely killing me. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be today. The wind change was difficult today but I’m really happy with today.
"The team has been really impressive. Yesterday, just 3.2km from the finish we had the crash. Tosatto was so, so clever giving me the bike and making sure I got across the line as quick as I could and limit my losses. Day by day they’ve been working hard and they’re going to continue to do so."
Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky)
"Dave Brailsford said this morning that we’re going to win the time trial, not who but we’re going to win it. I was having breakfast and Dave Brailsford said to me that you’ve got your chance today. I’ve had really good feelings in the last couple of days so I had a decent muscle warm up today and everything went ok.
"It’s a really special victory for me. Of course I go well in the time trial but I’ve not really had a good time trial result in a long time so it’s nice to take one. On a day like this with all the rain it was good for me in the end."
Elia Viviani (Team Sky)
On holding the red jersey: "Of course the next few stages will be difficult for the sprinters to take points. We’re so close, me and Nizzolo, so we will try to sneak some points before the sprint in Milan.
"The team’s really strong we’ve done a lot of work for Richie. The stage is a perfect gift for Kiry because he does so much work for the team."
Oleg Tinkov (Tinkoff-Saxo owner)
"I don’t know why everyone wonders about Alberto, I find it very strange. I thought he was going to win but he lost because of the wind. The wind changed direction from the very beginning. Without the wind, I’m sure that he would have won. For me he is the strongest here. I don’t know why people were so surprised, for me it wasn’t a surprise. Now we are in a good situation.
"He lost it (the pink jersey) yesterday… I saw the crash and I didn’t know what is going on. Now we’ve regained the pink jersey, it’s very good and it’s very emotional especially as I just came in. I hope that he will keep it but it will be very tough and the riders from Astana are giving us a hard time. Alberto is strong though and he doesn’t have to attack, they have to attack. Knowing Alberto, he will attack anyway."
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