Carlos Verona: My Love for La Vuelta
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Carlos Verona, 33rd in the general classification, 7th place in Stage 16, and a member of several breakaways so far at La Vuelta a España, took time on the final rest day of the last grand tour of 2015 to write a blog about racing the Spanish grand tour as a Spanish rider.
Burgos, September 8th
Maybe most of you don't know that every race day, after the stage, I write my own diary on my Facebook page. Unfortunately I finish the races so tired and I just write it in my mother language, Spanish. However if you are curious, you know Spanish, or you have a good translator, check out the hastag #veronablog where you will find all my posts.
But not today!!! And because it is our rest day in #lavueltadeverona I am doing this #veronablog in English for our team page.
This is my second participation in La Vuelta and even I am feeling more stronger and prepared than in the prior year. The guys and I, we all think that this is has been a very hard edition.
Until the moment I wrote this blog we've done 16 stages, and not one has been easy. It has been always something difficult. Making reference about the route: or a small hill at 3km to go, or constant up-and-down in the stages that looked "easy," or just crazy days like the stage in Andorra or yesterday in Asturias, days where we had to ascend with our Specialized bikes more over 5.000 meters each day, which is a lot...
It is also true that we've had many transfers, and this makes the race even harder. To be honest, it is not easy to make a perfect route that satisfies the riders and the race organizers. Maybe I am not objective, but I love this race as it is currently... The landscapes during the 3,000 race kilometers changes a lot, with different but at the same time awesome scenarios. People support us riders with passion, and almost in every town we pass with the race, I have friends or good memories of my childhood. In short, I just love La Vuelta.
Coming back to our team, we've started this Vuelta without a big leader in the 9 selected, which was presented in Costa del Sol two weeks ago. There was no specific rider as the star for the sprints or the overall. That is something strange for a team like us ,which is used to having always a big favorite in every race that we participate in. From the first day, we decided with our sports directors and staff that the goal was to try for a stage win, so basically trying to have every day someone in the breakaway. In my opinion it worked quite well. We've been in 13 breakaways of 15 possible. Also, the most important thing has been the spirit here inside the team. We've supported each other every day to be in the break, of course, but also to get past the small problems that happen during such a long race like this. We've been close to the victory several times, especially the day that Maxime Bouet was caught solo at 150 meters to go... Victory didn't happen yet, but all of us, we will keep trying to bring a victory home.
Another positive note of this Vuelta is the solid performance of my roommate Gianluca Brambilla. He stands 12th in the GC at just five days to go. Considering the high level of this Vuelta, and also the many times that he has had to work for the others in the past, it is nice that here he will have his own result as a top 15 GC finisher of a grand tour... Chapeau for him!
From my point of view, all the riders who are able to ride day-by-day full gas, to do a good GC or go for a good result whenever possible, deserves all my admiration and respect... Each and every rider. ;-)
Concluding today's post I will say two things...
The first one is that I see myself as a grand tour rider. I like the style of racing, I like the importance of mental focus, I like to discover many new places with my bike, and I feel that I perform better in the second week. So this Vuelta, it is a big motivation to keep working hard to become in a better cyclist for the grand tours of the future.
The second one is that I am very happy to be racing here in this race, my favorite one. I am feeling well and I am enjoying every minute of every day. Even sometimes the tiredness makes it difficult, but when I am tired I try to think about the thousands of kids that would love to be here (as I dreamed it too a few years ago). The positive thinking and the power of the mind is what makes me keep going.
That's all from the Etixx - Quick - Step in Burgos, but I don't want to say goodbye before I mention my appreciation for the work of our sports directors, masseurs, mechanics ,and the rest of the staff that makes our Vuelta much more easier. They do not pedal, but they suffer and enjoy this as much as we do. We ARE a TEAM. #OurWay