Joaquin Rodriguez Confident He’ll Win the 2010 Vuelta a Espana
On the 2nd rest day of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana - or 2010 Tour of Spain - race leader Joaquin Rodriguez said that he's in an ideal situation for taking the overall Vuelta win. This statement came the day after Rodriguez took over the lead from Vincenzo Nibali at the end of the queen stage of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana to Cotobello.
On the 2nd rest day of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana - or 2010 Tour of Spain - race leader Joaquin Rodriguez said that he's in an ideal situation for taking the overall Vuelta win. This statement came the day after Rodriguez took over the lead from Vincenzo Nibali (Team Liquigas) at the end of the queen stage of the 2010 Vuelta a Espana to Cotobello. The Spaniard was adamant that he even intends to keep the red jersey after the 46 kilometer individual time trial in Penafiel taking place tomorrow.
"Being the leader of the Vuelta at this stage of the race is perfect in my mind", said the rider from Katusha who enjoys an advantage of 33 seconds over Nibali, 53 seconds over Ezequiel Mosquera, 2.16 over Fränk Schleck and 3.01 over Nicholas Roche. "I don't rate Nibali and Mosquera as the only dangerous riders for me", Rodriguez added. "Schleck remains able to win the Vuelta as well."
Prior to training on the flat course of the time trial with his road bike, Rodriguez expressed his confidence in doing well in a speciality of cycling that is not his forte. "The time trial is difficult but not impossible", he said. "I don't want to loose the red jersey because of the time trial." Experts speculate that Nibali should go two minutes faster than him on such a course but "Purito" hopes to ride his best time trial ever.
In the Katusha team, Vladimir Karpets lost time in stage 16 of the Vuelta although he was tenth in the overall rankings before the start. He'll have to set a time of reference for Rodriguez. "The whole team goes very well", the race leader added. "Their help will be precious after the time trial too. Stage 17 to Salamanca will be very windy and stage 18 to Toledo is long and dangerous too. And then, of course, the penultimate stage to Bola del Mundo will be decisive on Saturday. Many things can still happen. All the riders who are up on GC seem to still have a great form at the end of the Vuelta. As for myself, I have planned my season very well and that's why I still feel good now."
"I came to the Vuelta with three goals: 1. to wear the red jersey, 2. to win a stage, 3. to win the Vuelta", Rodriguez reminded. "As I have already reached two of these three goals, I can only be satisfied. Shall I not win the overall classification, it wouldn't be a drama but I think I can do it."
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