One stage from closing a triumphant week

16 April 2011
Imagen de la noticia ‛One stage from closing a triumphant week’

Movistar Team are just one day from closing a purely brilliant week in the 2011 Vuelta a Castilla y León after two sprint finishes notched by Fran Ventoso. The 11.2km individual time trial ridden in and around Zamora on Saturday left Xavi Tondo as the new leader of the race after a superb effort by the telephone squad’s leader, who went less than three seconds out from taking the day’s victory granted by fellow countryman Alberto Contador.

Tondo claimed 3rd place after the Madrilian and his teammate Richie Porte, and seized control of the grey leader’s jersey with 9 seconds over Dutchman Bauke Mollema and 17 over Igor Antón. Those gaps should be kept by the Catalan tomorrow as he goes helped by Movistar Team into the final ride of the Castilian race, over 167km to Medina del Campo, with the wind making the biggest complications as no categorized climbs are proposed along the route.

Xavi Tondo: “I want to be really cautious, because I’ve come up short for a stagerace overall victory so many times, I even lost some of them in the last day and tomorrow’s stage is going to be a hard one. Wind will show up and we know that Dutchmen are real artists on dealing with it. The finish seems to be rather complicated, with several turns that will make it difficult. The team is doing superb up to the moment and that gives me confidence, but I don’t want to call for victory until the very last line. When I saw the ITT’s route this morning I liked it, because, apart from the beginning, really technical and where I did not take any risks, the rest was good for me. Once we got into open roads, I already saw I had good legs, those good feeling that sometimes, as it happened to me in Paris-Nice, you don’t find by some reason. In such a short time trial you’ve got to go flat-out, but the references from the car are really important and my DS Jaimerena and me know well to each other. If he’s not there in the upcoming ITT’s, I’ll really miss him. I’m not a specialist, but if I have a good day like today’s, I have already proved I can be up-front. Let’s see if I can bring the victory home for my teammates, because we’re almost the same squad that rode the Tour de San Luis, where the victory went out of our hands in the penultimate stage.”