“I liked the Vuelta very much”

8 September 2011
Imagen de la noticia ‛“I liked the Vuelta very much”’

Sergio Pardilla reflects on the hard hours of his abandon day and the good feelings lived during his very first Vuelta a España, in an 18th stage where Movistar Team was left with four riders as Madrazo gave up
After his withdrawal yesterday on stage 17 in the Vuelta a España due to the gastroenteritis that left Movistar Team with only four riders active after the abandon by Ángel Madrazo -Beñat Intxausti also started to feel bad and came into the last group with Imanol Erviti, almost 20 minutes behind day’s winner Gavazzi (LAM), the squad’s GC leader Sergio Pardilla will be starting today his return trip to hometown Membrilla near Ciudad Real. Really sad after leaving his first Vuelta, where he was standing as best team performer -13th overall, with a top-15 place almost guaranteed and good chances to make the best ten in the general classification-, the Spaniard makes an overview on the harsh times lived yesterday and his maiden GT within the top contenders: “On Tuesday evening I started feeling bad, I couldn’t sleep well, was feeling pain in my stomach… but as some teammates were already waking up really bad, my condition worsened through the morning. I barely had any food for breakfast and at the bus, just before the start, I was feeling that things weren’t going well. I couldn’t take any food on course and when I drank, my stomach was swelling up and I ended up vomiting. There was a moment during the first climb that I couldn’t follow the bunch. Madrazo caught me, him already dropped, and Erviti did the same later, but I couldn’t even follow their wheels. It was really difficult for us to bridge back into the peloton and just when we did, Katusha started pushing and I didn’t have any fuel on the tank.”

Pardilla remembers well the moment when he left the Vuelta: “It was the hardest point, a really hard blow after everything we went through. Up to the day before I was feeling really strong, motivated to take advantage from the last mountain-top finish. You understand that these are things that happen, but that doesn’t make you feel less sad. Back in the hotel, fever started to pick up, and when we made it to the hospital I was almost at 39ºC. They put me serum and paracetamol and had a bad moment, with low blood pressure before they got the high fever sorted out. The five of us –López, Konovalovas, Erviti and Madrazo- were so tired that we got asleep during the two hours we were with serum on the couches. At least I’m recovered today, but I’m still affected when it comes to moral.”

Despite the moral blow, the Spaniard keeps himself happy with the positive things of the race and his first season at Movistar Team: “I liked the Vuelta really much. I found myself at a very high level and could make it into the best in my place, the mountains. I think I was into good position for my first competitive GT, though I’d have liked to reach Madrid so as to see where I could end. I learned very much about the mistakes I make, where I lost too much energy unnecessarily and where I could have spent it to snatch a better result. For the future, I hope to build up and be much better. Besides, I got over the bad feelings from the Giro, which I finished in bad condition. I had so big expectations for this race that I shouldn’t have set, but at least I could finish and it was good learning as a GT. I don’t know if I will ride anything else, with this calendar and my adaptation to the World Tour, because races are completely different to what I was used to. I learned much from everyone, especially from the veteran ones, and feeling so good in the Vuelta gives me moral to do well in 2012. The pity is that it was a bad year for all team, with disgrace after disgrace leading us to what happened here. It was the most negative thing from the season, let’s hope it doesn’t happen anymore.”