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Kessiakoff’s wait pays off in Vuelta time trial

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Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) rides to victory at the Vuelta a Espana.

Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) rides to victory at the Vuelta a Espana. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) salutes from the podium.

Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) salutes from the podium. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana).

Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana). (Image credit: Sirotti)

“It’s a great relief,” Fredrik Kessiakoff said after the Astana rider waited nearly two hours for confirmation that he had won the time trial in the Vuelta on Wednesday.

“At least I can walk away with one victory, so can Astana, and now we’ve done that we can feel more confident and relaxed. The pressure is off, and maybe more wins wil come.”

Asked about how he had tackled the course, the 32-year-old Swede - who's previous big win was a stage of the Tour de Suisse earlier this year - said “I knew I had to start very well, which doesn’t mean full gas, it means finding a good rhythm. I had the same kind of sensations as I’d had in the Tour de Suisse.”

“I caught two guys before I got to the first climb, so I knew I was going well, and I knew that the climb was very long and it would be about suffering all the way up.”

With over 50 riders still due to finish after him, Kessiakoff described his wait as “very tough on the nerves. But even if I hadn’t won, I was still happy with my performance.”

Given Tony Martin won the World’s time trial after winning the Vuelta time trial, it was only natural to ask if Kessiakoff had had any thoughts of doing the same.

“I was not due to take part in the World’s time trial, I’d told the Swedish national trainer I wasn’t so interested because I thought I wouldn't have the head for it after finishing the Vuelta. But now maybe I should reconsider!”


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, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.