Vuelta: Rodriguez and Contador both optimistic about time trial chances
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vuelta: Rodriguez and Contador both optimistic about time trial chances

by Shane Stokes at 3:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
“All four of us have the chance to take the jersey”

Joaquim RodriguezVuelta a España race leader Joaquim Rodriguez has previously struggled in some time trials, losing all hope of winning the 2010 Vuelta when he finished over six minutes behind the winner in the stage 17 test, but should fare considerably better tomorrow.

The Katusha rider has improved since then in the discipline, has the benefits of having a third category climb on tomorrow’s 39.4 kilometre route and also enjoys a buffer on his main rivals.

He is 53 seconds ahead of Chris Froome (Sky), a minute up on Alberto Contador and a further seven seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

He knows he could lose the race lead, but also that he should limit his losses. If he does, there’s plenty of climbing ahead to enable him to regain time if he’s still going well.

“Yesterday I went to see the course of tomorrow’s time trial. It’s pretty hard as a course and much better for me than I thought,” he said. “I don’t think it is for pure climbers but it’s also not for pure time trial specialists. It suits me well. I hope to do well.”

Contador’s a better time trialist and is looking forward to trying to build time on his rivals. “I have good sensations, better every day,” he said. “I am looking forward to the time trial, I know it and we’ll see how it goes.”

He sees it as certain that things will be shaken up. Froome was second to Bradley Wiggins in the two Tour de France time trials and was also a runner up in a Vuelta stage against the clock last year. He'll be dangerous but if Contador is near his best time trialling form, he too could challenge for the win.

“There will be changes…I cannot say what exactly, but there will be,” he said about the general classification. “All four of us have a chance to take the jersey. The parcours is very good for Alejandro, Froome of course, I do not complain and Joaquín has a minute.”

However he insisted he wasn’t fixated on trying to win the stage. “What I’m thinking about is Madrid,” he said, referring to the general classification. “You always like to win, of course, but the important thing is the Vuelta a España.”


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