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Vuelta a Espana

Odd Christian Eiking : “I grew as a rider”

The second rest day of the Tour of Spain (2.WT, 14/08-5/09) was tinted in red for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. Red, as a reference for the leader’s jersey of the race, which Odd Christian Eiking conquered at the end of the tenth stage towards Rincon de la Victoria. Thanks to fantastic teamwork, the Norwegian rider was able to imitate his teammate Rein Taaramäe and bring the number of days in the lead of the classification of the Vuelta for the team to eight.

Sports director Valerio Piva and Odd Christian Eiking take stock on the occasion of a press conference in Santander on the eve of the third week which contains finishes on top of Lagos de Covadonga and the new Alto d’El Gamoniteiru.

Racing as the leader of the Tour of Spain made me grow as a rider, and the same counts for my teammates. So far, we managed to take control of the situation together. I'm feeling better every day and I'm surrounded by a strong and motivated team to defend this position. The closer we get to Santiago de Compostela, the more confident I am. The red jersey pushes us to better ourselves and maybe we can continue surprising. We can rely on the experience of our sports directors to take decisions and to pay attention on each detail. With no doubt it will be difficult to defend the jersey in the high mountains. If I can't keep it, I'll continue battling. With Louis Meintjes we've got a good candidate to finish in the top 10. No matter what happens during this third week, our Vuelta is a big succes already! 

I met Odd last winter and I knew that he had a great potential. He's a modern rider with an explosive profile who can climb and position well. For several reasons, for example illness, he didn't have the opportunity to show his worth this spring. Last month at the Tour de Wallonie he was in good shape and he shared his ambition to perform well in the Vuelta. With his 7th place in San Sebastian and his 2nd place in the Arctic Race of Norway, he showed that he was prepared for it. Owning the red jersey for six days confirms his qualities. In the next days, we will be confronted to the best GC riders in the world on a mountainous terrein and we're curious to know where his potential will bring him. It is a question mark for all of us! 


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