Juan Jose Haedo swapped smiles and slaps on the back with Saxo Bank-SunGard team manager Bjarne Riis as they headed back to the team bus in Haro, both happy that the sprinter had avoided the confusion in the final roundabout and become the first Argentinean rider to ever win a stage at the Vuelta.
Haedo has always been a quick thinking sprinter and while others went the wrong way, hesitated or were blocked by the confusion, he was first out of the roundabout, just three hundred metres from the finish, and sprinted to the line to win comfortably ahead of Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) and Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek).
"I was the luckiest one but I think it's part of the game. I was at the right place at the right moment and had the right legs. I'm really happy," he told Cyclingnews before explaining the dynamic of the hectic sprint.
"I was sitting fourth wheel and then just before the roundabout, everyone braked really hard. I had my wheel on the left of the rider in front and so just hit the roundabout clear. I didn't really know what happened but came out of the roundabout with a gap. I then put my head down and went for it."
Like all the sprinters, Haedo had been suffering through the many mountain stages in the Vuelta in hope of having a shot at the end of the stage to Haro.
"I've been preparing well since the end of June for this and the world championships. Now the win has come, it's great for me. I'm really happy. I've been fighting for a big win and now I've got it," he said.
"It's the first Grand Tour win for an Argentinean and so I get the honour of being the first to do it. I've always wanted to win a Grand Tour stage because it's means that bit more than other wins."
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