Vuelta a España: Kessiakoff minimizes damage after spending night sick
  December 05, 2019 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vuelta a España: Kessiakoff minimizes damage after spending night sick

by Bjorn Haake at 3:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Swedish rider drops to sixth overall, 1'23 behind Wiggins

fredrik kessiakoffFredrik Kessiakoff was nine seconds behind race leader Bradley Wiggins ahead of stage 14 in the Vuelta a España, but dropped back to almost a minute and a half afterwards. A pre-race night spent sick drained the Astana rider from crucial energy, so he was rather happy to have limited the losses.

The entire team was worried about Kessiakoff ahead of the tough mountain stage to La Farrapona. "He was sick all night, he suffered from gastroenteritis that kept him from sleeping and before he took the departure we feared that he might pay it on the road today," said the team's doctor, Andrea Andreazzoli.

During the stage, Kessiakoff remained in the leader jersey's group for a long time. "At the departure of the stage, I was fearing not to have a strong enough shape to follow the rhythm today, but I felt good in the first climb and then I began to feel fatigue in the second climb." Lost sleep and the energy drained during the restless night meant that Kessiakoff played it conservatively. "In the last few kilometers there were attacks, which I preferred not to respond to, while taking the risk to lose too much strength for the last week coming."

Three kilometers from the final, the Swede was dropped by the leader's group, while his Croatian teammate Robert Kiserlovski remained with him. "He worked well with me and well-managed my pace. It was important to me because I had to keep my rhythm and ride at my own speed," Kessiakoff said.

The Astana riders crossed the line in 21st position, ahead of the other main victims of the day, Vincenzo Nibali and Joaquím Rodriguez. Kessiakoff dropped to sixth overall, but remained upbeat. "When I see my health condition this morning and I see my result at the finish, I am very pleased; I wasn't expecting to handle it as well. I still have to recover but this hard day is now behind me, I'm relieved!"

Kessiakoff hopes to recover much of his strength ahead of the crucial stage to the Angliru today. His overall ambition remains unchanged. "I don't want to lose strength with many actions to wear the red jersey during one or two days and then finish 50th of the race in Madrid," he said about his conservative but persistent riding near the front.

Others, like Nibali, have chosen a different approach, chasing aggressively after every second. But the Italian was even behind Kessiakoff on Saturday's tough stage. "Some of the favorites have already lost some time because they have made strong efforts that they paid back then. We all have our bad days, this can happen, but I prefer to stay steady, to race at my own pace and be careful not to lose unnecessarily forces."

The Swede is riding his third Grand Tour (after the Vuelta and the Giro d'Italia in 2009) and shows his increased experience. "We are in a three-week race and I think it is necessary to assess the effort over this period and remain constant. I hope to finish in the top 15, top ten of the race. Whatever happens, it's a great experience for me and I already drew beneficial lessons!"


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC