Only four days after their competitive début, Movistar Team have opened their victory count of the season. Catalan Xavi Tondo made history for the Spanish squad as the first winner of the newborn roster with the best time in Thursday’s individual time trial in the Tour de San Luis, ridden over 20 kilometers in and around the capital city of the Argentinean province.
Tondo offered an exhibition over the course, significantly marked by strong winds, to not only getting the victory, but also taking over the race’s first place overall, now half a minute over former jersey holder, Colombia’s José Serpa. Three stages will challenge Tondo’s leadership, two of them in the mountains: the first of those ones will be the mountain-top finish in the Mirador del Sol, where the Spaniard already won two years ago; the tricky finish of La Carolina is scheduled for Saturday. However, the orange jersey’s defense will only start tomorrow. The Movistar Team rider now only wants to share with all team members, both partners and fans, this unforgettable triumph: “There will be time to think of what’s to come, but now it’s the moment to enjoy this victory. It’s the first one of the team and that makes it very special. I felt a bit sad on Tuesday after I couldn’t finish with the big task from my teammates, and I could take that feeling out of myself today. I came really focused to this race and had told Eusebio Unzué before coming here I had felt really strong on training. It’s been a warm winter in Catalonia, and that allowed me training strong.
I use to start well in every season. I won a stage here two years ago, and also a stage in Paris-Nice last year during my competitive début. Having a TT bike for today’s race was a key. I knew this route from the 2009 race, but then I did it on the normal road bike and it didn’t have anything to do. Besides, it’s a new model just developed by Pinarello, and from the very first day I tried it, I felt really comfortable with it. Those details make Movistar Team a super squad. They rooted for me, and this is the result. This victory is for all the group, and specially for all our followers through social networks. We feel we have made many people happy with this project. It’s amazing to see all support they’re giving us, and with their help we’re going to make this team really big.”