Ezequiel Mosquera: “I hope I don’t lose the Vuelta by twelve seconds“
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Ezequiel Mosquera: “I hope I don’t lose the Vuelta by twelve seconds“

by Ben Atkins at 4:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Current second place hopes that time lost in today's split peloton does not cost him the race

ezequiel mosqueraEzequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo-Galicia) was one of the losers in the chaotic finish of the Vuelta a España stage to Toledo today. He finished in a small group of riders 13 seconds behind stage winner Philippe Gilbert (OmegaPharma-Lotto), but more importantly lost 12 seconds to race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo).

He kept his second place in the overall classification, but the gap between him and Nibali has grown from 38 to 50 seconds.

“There was so much tension in the last kilometre,” he said after the stage. “When we reached the curves, I was side by side with Fränk Schleck [Saxo Bank] and I almost fell when he punctured. I was at the limit; I couldn’t do more; in this kind of uphill finish Nibali has a better jump than me.”

Schleck, having suffered the mechanical incident inside the last 3km, was safe in the knowledge that he would not lose too much time (although the 15 seconds he did lose caused him to slip from fourth to fifth overall). Mosquera though, was forced to make a hard chase or watch the Vuelta slip away.

“My team-mate David Garcia Dapena did his best to bring me back up,” he explained, “but when we passed over the last bridge I almost couldn’t breathe anymore.”

With effectively just one more stage left, the last stage being a flat ceremonial ride into the Spanish capital Madrid, he has just one chance to make time on Nibali and win the race. Saturday’s stage to the 2247m Bola del Mundo will be one of the toughest in the entire Vuelta and Mosquera will have to go all out to beat the Italian.

“Tomorrow I’ll have to attack,” he said. “I hope for a good day and good legs. I look serene but I’m not. I’m very nervous and I find it hard to sleep at night.

The Tour de France was decided by 39 seconds, the controversial amount that race winner Alberto Contador (Astana) took from Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) after Schleck dropped his chain on the Port de Balès. While Mosquera’s 12-second loss is not subject by any controversy, he hopes that the Vuelta does not finish in a similar manner.

“If I lose the Vuelta, I hope it won’t be for less than twelve seconds, otherwise what has happened today would be too bitter.”

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