Alejandro Valverde La Vuelta Rest Day Press Conference
Quotes from today's 2009 Vuelta rest day press conference with the current race leader Alejandro Valverde.
“Till today the Vuelta has been very fast with a lot of tension in the bunch. We had to race in rainy conditions in the Netherlands and Belgium and later very hot weather in Spain so many riders are already very tired.”
“Now the three most difficult stages of this Vuelta remain: Velefique, Sierra Nevada and Pandera. I know them all very well and for sure there will be important gaps between the first of the classification. Those stages will not be difficult only because they finish in altitude but also because the entire course is very hard.”
“I believe it will be difficult to take the golden jersey off the shoulders of the rider who will be wearing it on Sunday evening even if it is a fact that one more week will be left till the final, with tricky stages and the time trial of Toledo.”
“Ivan Basso is still the most dangerous rival but now we also have to take Cadel Evans into account. In Assen we did not know how he really was but he's shown that he is very strong. And of course Samuel Sánchez, Robert Gesink and any other rider who is at less than one minute in the rankings are also very dangerous.”
“I learned a lot during the last years. I am quieter than I was the previous years without trying to win stages at any cost at the beginning of the race and at the end I always had a bad day. It is important to maintain strength. I am also more attentive than I was in the past and my team helps me a lot too.”
“To wear the golden jersey is of course a big responsibility but it is also an extra motivation and I hope to put it on next September 20 in Madrid [where the race ends].”