Cancellara Regains Vuelta a Espana Lead in Time Trial
The slippery wet and completely flat time trial over thirty kilometers in Valencia on the seventh stage of the 2009 Vuelta a Espana favored the large and muscular riders in the peloton. World champion in the discipline, Bert Grabsch (Team Columbia-HTC) set the fastest time. But Scotsman, David Millar (Garmin) wanted to change that and shaved down the German's time with 4 seconds after spending 37 minutes and 13 seconds on the course that started and finished on the Formula 1 circuit in the city of Valencia, Spain.
Team Saxo Bank's Formula 1 engine and winner of the Vuelta prologue, Fabian Cancellara found the perfect gear for grinding and was 19 seconds faster than David Millar (Garmin) at the second intermediate point of timing. At the finish line, the big Swiss beat the Scotsman with 32 seconds and Team Saxo Bank therefore reclaimed the leader's jersey before tomorrow's first mountain stage that ends with 21 kilometers of strenuous climbing.
“The most difficult factor was undoubtedly the weather conditions which made the road extremely slippery. In the beginning of the time trial I was very cautious in every turn but on the main road in the headwind I dug deep in order to make the difference the hard way. It was a good test and preparation for the World Cup time trial on home ground. Right now I'm just happy to take the victory and the beautiful yellow jersey of the race”, said a delighted Fabian Cancellara after the race against the clock.
"Fabian did a magnificent time trial which he wins on hard work in the headwind. This performance gives hope for his participation in the World Cup on his home ground. Jakob also did a good time trial in which he took no chances on the slippery roads but he gave all he had when it was possible on the wet surface. Now we are looking forward to tomorrow's stage where we will probably see yet another rider in yellow”, said Team Saxo Bank sports director Kim Andersen after the victory.