La Vuelta a España Stage 10 ITT: OPQS Owns the Podium! Martin Wins, Uran 2nd!
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team had a beautiful day in Borja, the arrival location of the 36.7km La Vuelta a España Stage 10 ITT on Tuesday.
Tony Martin made the most out of the last kilometers of the time trial, winning with a time of 47 minutes and two seconds (46.818 km/h) despite not having the fastest two intermediate checkpoints. Meanwhile, OPQS leader Rigoberto Uran moved himself into 3rd in the GC by a blazing fast time trial performance. He finished 2nd in the stage, just 15" down on his German teammate. Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was 3rd, 18" down on Martin.
La Vuelta race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) suffered a crash, and lost time as a result. Alberto Contador now wears the red jersey.
Martin's victory is the 60th overall for OPQS in three disciplines in 2014. OPQS has now won more than 60 overall races for three straight years. OPQS has also won at least one stage of every grand tour this season, and one stage of every grand tour for the last seven years.
"It was one of the hardest time trials this year," Martin said. "The mountain was quite hard, it was hard to find a rhythm and still keep some energy for the second part with the descent and the flat sections. It was also technical with a lot of corners. For sure it was a challenge. I also had some issues with heat at the end. I wasn't so sure about the win. But I'm super happy I did it, as this is a race that does not suit me perfectly and there are plenty of strong time trialists here at La Vuelta. I made up some time on the second part of the parcours. We made some good analysis with the team before the race so I was well prepared. I also never had any problems in the corners thanks to the performance of my Specialized Shiv. I also see that my condition is good and I think this gives me huge morale in anticipation of Worlds. I have shown I'm heading in the right direction. I wanted to win for the team also. I am thrilled with the fact that we have two OPQS guys on the top two steps of the podium, and even Pieter Serry was 11th. Now we have a victory at La Vuelta and we can look to the next days with Rigoberto Uran on the virtual GC podium. Team spirit is super high."
"We prepared for this time trial very well," Uran said."Together with the staff we analyzed all the details, and at the end I think I did very well. I'm behind the three-time UCI World TT Champion Tony Martin, who is also my teammate, so to go 1-2 and finish behind such a great time trialist is really an ideal result for me and the team. I took a good tempo immediately and I had good feeling. When Davide Bramati told me on the radio that at the second intermediate time I had the same time of Tony, I couldn't believe it! It was really important to have that time gap from the team car, and to know we had a chance to go 1-2 I really went full gas. I lost some time in the last part, but to be honest the last 10 kilometers were really for big engine like Tony. I'm happy that we pulled off this great achievement, and I'm virtually on the GC podium again. We are where we are supposed to be at this point of the race. But La Vuelta is still long and the overall is wide open. Tomorrow there is another uphill finish. We will see what can happen. I'm feeling OK, and I can count on a great team around me, so we will see. This result has really put us all in a great mood."