Malori: Other times I've lost time trials because of rain

Movistar succeeded in bookending the 2014 Vuelta a España with victories in the first and last stage of the race, the first in a team time trial and on Sunday with Adriano Malori.

There was doubtless some luck in the way Malori claimed the short, technically challenging time trial. When he crossed the finish line at 1754, the 44th of 159 starters a short but very heavy rainstorm had yet to put in an appearance. After it did, with lumps of hail mixed in amongst the massive raindrops, the road grew much more slippery and almost all the other contenders - racing through until more than two hours later, opted to take far fewer risks.

Malori, after a 150 minute wait, finally took the stage, eight seconds up on Trek Factory Racing's Jesse Sergent.

However, if the weather was on his side, the Italian has not been national TT champion by chance, either as well as taking time trial wins in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of San Luis in 2014. That he managed to claim his first Grand Tour stage win with relatively few late challenges was hardly his fault either.

"It's a really nice day because we're finishing the Vuelta with Valverde in the podium and the third stage win of the race for the team" - after the opening team time trial and Valverde's win in La Zubia - the 26-year-old told Spanish website Biciciclismo.

"Given what happened to Nairo [Quintana]"- who crashed out injured - "it's spectacular for us. I'm very happy."

"I was lucky that I could race the time trial in the dry, for sure, but at the same time I did a very good time trial. I was hitting numbers during it that were amongst the best of this year for me and that means I've done very well in this year's Vuelta. Other times I've lost time trials because of rain, it is what it is, that's cycling."

As for the World Championships in Ponferrada, Malori told Biciciclismo he preferred to be realistic and that "for me to beat Martin, he'd have to puncture four times. I'll go flat out and I hope to finish amongst the top five."

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