Stage 14: "In the breakaway again, this time on our way to the Camperona"
I am writing to you from the OPQS bus after a really tough stage. Its first part was not simple because the pack split and half way to the finish we had to climb the San Glorio, the hardest climb since the Vuelta started (more than 20km at 6%). After 60 more kilometres on the flat through the Castilian plateau, the Camperona was waiting for us: a steep slope with the last three km reaching 20%.
Today the team had a very clear and obvious goal: to go with the breakaways each time more than 15 riders went on the attack together. The idea was to pass the San Gloriowith the break and consider the race situation; always with one thing on our mind: Rigo's win. The first 50 km were really fast and, launched by amazing Tony Martin, I went with a 24 riders break together with Tom Boonen. Almost all the teams were represented in the lead. When I was still a junior I raced very often on those same roads. Difficult to imagine then that I would be here today making part of a breakaway in the Vuelta a España!
In San Glorio I really did my best to stay with the first riders of the break; to tell you the truth I had no great legs today. I cannot say they were bad but they for sure havebeen better on other occasions this season. I survived along with eleven other riders while my team-mates fastened the pace in front of the main bunch because Rigo was feeling well even if he finally lost time compared withhis rivals for the overall ranking. As far as I am concerned I remained in front waiting to see what could happen, I gave it all but I got no better result than a nine position on the line. I lost another good opportunity to win a stage butI want to have a positive attitude: I am only 21 years old and I am working hard to be able, in a few years from now, to take the best of such opportunities. In the meanwhile I will keep learning and enjoying. Today I got goose bumps from hearing so many people shouting my name in the final climb Thank you everybody!
Now we have to think about what can happen tomorrow. Rigo is currently the fifth overall. We lost a battle but not the war. The Vuelta is still very long. What I like the most about Rigo is the fact he is a great leader on and off the road. I am sure that the fact he lost one minute today won't change his attitude on the bike. A third of the Vuelta is still waiting for us and we will keep on giving it all.
I have to stop writing now. It was a very long day for everybody in the Vuelta: a long stage, a two hours transfer to the hotel and the mechanics have still to make our bikes ready for tomorrow stage, the physiotherapists to give us massage and after that we will have dinner and a good sleep because tomorrow we will climb a mythical Asturian climb: Lagos de Covadonga.