Kim Andersen Quotes
It was very impressive of Van Heeswijk. He bridged back to the peloton all by himself after his puncture and still had strength left over for the sprint, even though the pace was high towards the end of the stage. Christian Vande Velde crashed during the final descent, but he wasn't seriously hurt and managed to finish in the main peloton, while Linus Gerdemann lost some time because he's suffering from a back ache.
We knew improving to second place would be hard, but Carlos did really well today and like last year he came frighteningly close to winning the Vuelta's last time trial. Menchov did well as expected and that didn't leave us much hope. But it was a tough fight out there and we're happy the podium spot is ours without hassle.
Carlos did really well in the Vuelta and he fully deserves his spot on the podium. He's an all round rider and it's great to see him prove it with a nice result such as this. It takes a lot to achieve a podium spot in the Vuelta, and I think he's been one of the prominent riders in this race - just as we as a team have been up front in nearly all stages. We took a brilliant stage victory, and with a little luck we could've taken a couple more. On the whole I'm very satisfied with the efforts delivered by everyone. Our aim was to get a good result overall and try for a stage win along the way, and we've achieved both. The team has worked perfectly and everyone down here in and around the team deserve big credit.
This promises well for Carlos' chances in the rest of the race. We had a feeling he'd be in top shape after finishing well in the Tour and later having the time to prepare himself and spend time with his family without being troubled by injuries, illness or stressful contract negotiations. But just before a race starts you always get a little nervous anyway.
It was really beautiful for Carlos and I think it was also important for his own moral that he got to see himself in a situation where he was just as strong and perhaps even stronger than the other favorites. If there hadn't been that flat bit half way up the climb, I actually think he could have taken the stage.
Carlos felt really strong at the foot of the decisive climb, so we put Calvente and Piil up front to set the pace. With about six kilometers to go Carlos hit a bad patch and instead of risking a total meltdown, he made the sensible choice to ride at his own pace and he did actually manage to limit his time loss quite well. The other day Carlos was a bit better than Mancebo and today it was the other way round. The time differences are still very small. The way it looks right now Heras and Menchov are the strongest. But there's almost two full weeks left and a lot can happen in that time.
Nicki has won a beautiful and very prestigious stage and he has every reason to be proud of himself. Steadily he has improved his form during this race and it's really something to be able to ride this fast in the third and last week of the Vuelta. Right now Carlos Sastre is almost certain of his spot on the final podium, and winning a stage on top of this is just icing on the cake for the whole team.