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Vuelta diary watch: The mountains

By Susan Westemeyer

Rabobank's Grischa Niermann has come to the conclusion that "we won't win the Vuelta this year".

Defending champion Denis Menchov unfortunately doesn't have the form of last season wrote Niermann on his Web site, www.grischa-nierman.de.

In Friday's mountain stage, "there were three of us with him at the start of the last climb, but he was simply having a bad day and told us that we didn't have to wait for him. We all have the possibility to go in breaks and maybe take a stage win."

Bernhard Kohl of T-Mobile saw the finish like this: "When Beltran attacked, I had just gotten on his rear wheel and so I just went with him. The group was good but no favourites were in it. I thought they would come soon. And how they came!" he exclaimed on bernhardkohl.at.

Climber Kohl is looking forward to Sunday's mountain stage, but Gerolsteiner sprinter Robert Förster, as might be expected, isn't. Friday's stage was pretty relaxed, he wrote on www.radsportnews.com, but "on the other hand, I'm already panicking because the stage on Sunday is a tough one.

"Almost everyone in the field (with the exception of the climbers, naturally) have a horror for the stage. Lots of mountains, and when the Spaniards make the thing difficult from the very beginning..."

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