Luis Pasamontes Interview
An interview with Caisse d'Epargne rider Luis Pasamontes on the day before the second rest day of the 2008 La Vuelta a Espana.
Tomorrow, the second rest day awaits the riders of this 63rd edition of the Vuelta a Espana. How do you evaluate your team's performance in the Vuelta up until the start of the 12th stage, which will finish this afternoon in Suances?
“Very positively. The objective was to have Alejandro (Valverde, ed.) ideally placed in the general classification and the team Caisse d’Epargne worked very well for that. At a personal level I am also satisfied with the work I achieved up until now.”
This is the first Vuelta a Espana you ride with Team Caisse d’Epargne. How do you feel on the team?
“I am very well and perfectly integrated here. We form a group of buddies who get along very well. With such an atmosphere a three week stage race, which could appear very long, passes on the contrary very quickly. Our [great relationship when not on our bikes] is also reflected when we are in the race and it is obvious that it helps us a lot, for example when we have to make a decision. Very often, one glance is enough to know what we must do.”
How do you define your role in this Vuelta?
“During the first stages, especially the flat ones, my work consisted mainly in being permanently at Alejandro’s side, who is the leader of our team. In the stages which were more complicated because of the wind, I had to be very attentive in order to avoid possible hitches.”
The day after tomorrow, the Vuelta will arrive in Asturias, with two very hard mountain stages. It is my understanding that Asturias has a special meaning to you?
“I was born in Asturias and for me it is obvious that the fact of riding through Asturias represent something very special. I am proud that the Vuelta crosses my land and I hope that the team will be in a good position when we [leave]. I know the mountains we will have to climb there very well. The Angliru climb is mythical because it is extremely hard and the spectators like it very much. I [too find it to be mythical and I believe that] when we are at the top of Fuentes de Invierno, we will already know who will more than [likely] be on the podium in Madrid.”
How do you see the fight between the overall favorites?
“I believe that they will fight a lot, because the [route] of these two stages [invite to great battles]. Personally, I bet on Alejandro for the general classification. His most direct rivals are Alberto Contador and Carlos Sastre, but as always in the Vuelta, another rider could cause a surprise.”
After the mountain stages, there will be some stages left which suit a rider of your type. Will we see you attack in the final Vuelta stages?
“Above all, I want to achieve the work which is requested from me and then, if it is possible to try to go with a breakaway to try to win a stage, I'll do that. It would be something important at a personal level. I would like to do well in Asturias but considering the fact that I am not really what you can call a climber, I will try to do it when we arrive in the surroundings of Madrid, where I currently live.”