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Rojas with mixed feelings

Juan José Rojas had two stages of the Vuelta a Castilla y León marked for himself, the first and the last, but both times he was shut out, finishing third in stage one and second in the final stage on Friday. "But the good thing is that after my inactivity following the crash in Mallorca, I returned to be able to be competitive and I have no more knee problems. The bad thing is that I couldn't win at least one of the two stages that I sought out."

The first stage was his own fault, he acknowledged. "The team was working perfectly, but I made a mistake to launch the sprint and I was on the wrong side of the road before the final turn, where I had to hit my brakes. That way I lost a few precious seconds so that [Joaquin] Sobrino and [David] Vitoria were able to pass me."

In the last stage his Caisse d'Epargne team had some bad luck, with designated lead-out man Luis Pasamontes flatting before the sprint. That left Rojas alone with teammate Alejandro Valverde. Valverde tried to let Rojas pass, but it was getting too close, with Pablo Urtasun (Euskaltel-Euskadi) coming up quickly. Valverde took the stage, his second of the event.

Rojas hopes to take the good form to the GP Llodio on Sunday. Last year he won the bunch sprint, unfortunately it was only for second place, one minute behind winner Hector Guerra (Liberty Seguros). "I hope to be luckier this year. In principle this race suits me really well. The only thing that bothers me is that the weather forecast is bad. It is supposed to be raining and very cold."

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