LA VUELTA A ESPAÑA - STAGE 13 GOOD TIME TRIAL BEFORE THE LAST STAGES
And here it comes - the final part of this Vuelta! The 3rd Grand Tour, the last big event of the season, will end this Sunday in Madrid. The riders have taken the road again today with an individual time-trial of 33,7 km. A tricky exercise, especially since it involved a change of bike at the end of the stage to climb the 3rd category pass that concluded the race.
New opportunities ahead
At Cofidis, the main goal was to preserve oneself and stay in shape before the last five stages. The riders of the team finished the course in less than 54 minutes despite the steep slopes at the end of the stage. Guillaume Martin seized the opportunity to take part in his first time trial with the polka-dot jersey of the best climber. He has achieved a correct lap time (49'58''), keeping in mind that this exercise will be particularly important in the next Tour de France.
Tomorrow, 204,7 km will have to be covered between Lugo and Ourense. A hilly stage with three 3rd category climbs, which should be favorable for the breakaway specialists. And what if the breakaway goes to the end? The Cofidis riders will do everything to be part of it and try their luck to win the stage victory.
Guillaume MARTIN: "It was a day with no particular objective other than to have a good workout. You don't often get the opportunity to do such long laps. We have all seen that the next Tour de France will have two time trials of around thirty kilometers so it was interesting to be able to do one, keeping in mind next year's Tour de France. I did it in the best possible way I could. After that, I tried my best to do a nice final climb. I'm quite happy with my result, which didn't necessarily give me an advantage".
Christian GUIBERTEAU, sports director: "Time trial is a very demanding exercise. But it's also a day where you learn, test the equipment and put yourself to work. We all know that we may one day be in a situation where we have to defend a distinctive jersey or a place in the general classification. The Cofidis riders have approached this challenge in a serious way. The next two stages will be favorable for the breakaway specialists and the breakaway will be able to go all the way to the finish line. This will allow Victor (Lafay), Pierre-Luc (Périchon), Emmanuel (Morin), José (Herrada) and Luis Angel (Maté) to try their luck".