Vuelta a España: Teams react to Pontevedra time trial
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vuelta a España: Teams react to Pontevedra time trial

by Kyle Moore at 12:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Froome, Valverde, Meyer, Martin, Gesink, Mollema, Gilbert, Monfort and more on the TT

Chris FroomeVuelta a España Stage 11: Cambados – Pontevedra (39.4km)

1, Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana Pro Team) 39.4 kilometres in 52 mins 36 secs
2, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank) at 17 secs

Team Sky:
Chris Froome (3rd): “To be honest, I struggled to get the speed I wanted to hold. Having said that, I also went as fast as I could. So I have no regrets. Naturally, I would have liked a better result but I’m not disappointed. When you look at the GC now, three of us are at sixteen seconds and Valverde is within a minute. It remains a very close race with big mountains coming up. Anything can still happen."

Team director Nicolas Portal: “It was a close fight today in the time trial, that’s for sure. The GC has closed up again between the contenders. It was a really interesting time trial. Rodriguez came through really well in the best possible situation. Contador was really strong and Froome put in a good ride too. We are now into third but only 16 seconds back so it’s certainly going to be a big fight, starting tomorrow with the next uphill finish.”

Alejandro Valverde (4th): “I had said that I wouldn’t be very good for this test, but to be fourth behind two great specialists like Contador and Froome and still have such good legs makes me very happy. I’ll continue on with the fight, despite the 55 seconds I lost in Valdezcaray. Without that loss I might be the leader, but there’s no getting around that because that will not change. Let’s keep going day by day and try to keep these good feelings.”

Cameron Meyer (8th): “The first part of the stage was the 13 kilometers from the start of the time trial to the bottom of the climb. Then, there was the middle section, which was the 10-kilometre climb. From the top of the climb to the finish was the third part of the stage. My goal was to go out in the first part and, without losing too much time, save some energy for when I hit the long climb. The climb was the most important part of the time trial. It’s where the race would be won or lost. From there, it was just getting down the descent as quickly as possible without crashing. I’m happy with my ride. I did everything I wanted to do. I’d like to get in another breakaway somewhere from now until end and really go for a stage win. That’s what the team is here to do in the remaining days of races. I still have a lot of energy and good form left. Hopefully there’s a stage out there for me.”

Team director Neil Stephens:
“It was a really, really good effort by Cam. He did a positive time trial from the start. He was controlled during the first section, excelled on the climb and descended well too. He put time into his rivals on the descent, which for Cam is a victory in itself.”

Omega Pharma-Quick Step:
Tony Martin (11th): “On the flat I was going super but on the hill, I wasn’t going well at all. I expected it a little bit. This wasn’t my favourite course for a time trial.”

Robert Gesink (12th): “I was going up the climb well. The first part of the descent was not good, but by then I was well into my rhythm. I did my best time trial and we have to make do.”

Bauke Mollema (38th): “I didn’t start very well because in the beginning I almost missed a turn. I recovered pretty well but on the climb I dropped my chain and had to change bikes. I got my focus back again but on the descent I missed a turn and crashed, without any damage. Then I was no longer any good on the bike and it was a matter of damage control. It was too bad, because I feel good. I look forward to these three tough mountain stages on the weekend. I will show you.”

BMC Racing:
Philippe Gilbert (14th): “I started like normal and then I saw Van Den Broeck [ahead], so it gave me motivation. It also gave me a point to concentrate on for the climb. On the descent, I took it fast and clean. At the bottom, it was still a few kilometres to go and flat, so I just went full gas.”

Maxime Monfort (27th): “I hoped to jump up into the top 15 after this stage, and I’ve done that. But I will admit I am disappointed in my performance from today. I expected to do better and be stronger. I felt good in the warm up so I’ll have to check my power meter and see if I made a mistake along the way. This Vuelta is so hard this year. The end of this week on Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be the most decisive days of this race. Now I am in 14th on GC and very close on time to the top ten, so everything comes in to play at the end of this week.”


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