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Vuelta a Espana

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert in chase of stage wins

The riders at the Tour of Spain (2.WT, 14/08-5/09) were presented on the forecourt of the Museum of Human evolution in Burgos (Castilla y Leon). The race will start this Saturday at the Cathedral of Burgos, city of the famous El Cid, for a pilgrimage of 3417 kilometer towards Santiago de Compostela. The selection, directed by Valerio Piva and Jean-Marc Rossignon, is composed of Odd Eiking, Jan Hirt, Wesley Kreder, Louis Meintjes, Riccardo Minali, Simone Petilli, Rein Taaramäe and Kévin Van Melsen. At the eve of the third Grand Tour of the season, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux has different assets to conquer a stage win and to defend a general classification.

Since the Tour de France, I recharged my batteries at home in Andorra. I took a couple of rest days before resuming training and take advantage of the altitude. I have good legs on the bike, even though the feeling is always a little special after the Tour. I want to be in the front from the first days, because my ambition is to defend a good position in the general classification. On paper, this Vuelta suits me better than the Tour with more uphill finishes, less time trial kilometers and better weather conditions. But if the circumstances jeopardize a good classification, I will turn my focus to stage victories.

I've got excellent memories from the Tour of Spain, in which I didn't participate anymore since 2017. I managed to win a stage in 2011 and my goal this year will be the same: I want to win a stage, not less, not more. I won't be satisfied with five times 2nd. Me preparation was excellent, however, I trained a little too much in July. But I recovered well and showed this in the Sazka Tour by finishing on the final podium. My feeling is good, so day by day I'll determine the most demanding stages and the ones most suitable for stage victories!

My feeling is going crescendo since a couple of weeks now with the Vuelta in mind. My preparation was good with an altitude camp and finally also competition with the Tour de Wallonie, San Sebastian and the Arctic Race of Norway, where I played a role in the stage finals. So I am confident and in good shape. I'm convinced that collectively, we can battle for stage victories. Personally, several stages suit me well with finishes on short and explosive climbs. These suit me better than the long climbs in the Tour or the Giro. I want to grab these opportunities.

Photo: Photo Gomez Sport


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