Vuelta a España
Cobo, Valverde lead Movistar Team as the Blues face in the best moral possible the start in Pamplona, the team’s headquarters, of a race that is announced to be spectacular
At a crammed Hotel Castillo de Gorráiz, the two leaders from Movistar Team, Juanjo Cobo and Alejandro Valverde, plus the telephone squad’s general manager, Eusebio Unzué, spoke to the media to express their feelings with just over 24 hours before the start of the Vuelta a España. Especially motivated by the start in Pamplona, the headquarters of a team not missing their appointment with the Vuelta since 1980, the three Movistar Team members showed confident towards the big challenge they will tackle from tomorrow, with the long-awaited team time trial in the Navarran capital, and for the next three weeks, will make them one of the reference points in the Spanish race.
“Personally, I’m not feeling in the best possible condition. The Vuelta was my biggest goal, but due to a dental problem after the Tour, I’m not on the shape I’d have liked to be. The idea is to improve that fitness level through the race and get better and better.
To be honest, I thought I would be more nervous and pressure would be freaking me out, but I’m really calm. The team is keeping me really confident despite not finding my best condition. From tomorrow on, the idea is to defend this bib number one. There are many big riders and a really difficult course, but I’ll be riding with no pressure whatsoever and will see how far I can get. Despite being the Vuelta champion, I have no problem with the media focusing more on Froome and Contador. Froome was second last year, also second at the Tour, showing that he was the strongest into the climbs, and until his stop, Contador was the world’s number one. It’s normal that they all are paying more attention to them. We’re bringing up a strong block to this Vuelta.”
“The objective at the start is fighting for the GC with Juanjo, and then, there are five or six stages that suit me well. If I’m strong at that point, we will try not to miss our chances. The team we’re bringing here is really balanced and adapted to the route. We all are well and that’s important. I don’t know how I’ll handle the three weeks. For the timg being, I had some good rest, I’m strong and we’ll see how we get through these three weeks. Contador will be the one to beat because he’s had that stop and prepared perfectly for that. Froome should be hard to overcome if he shows the same level as in the Tour. After that, there are riders like Purito, Menchov, Gesink, Antón, Van den Broeck or Juanjo himself, that could be fighting for the overall.”
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