Vuelta Stage 12 reaction: Double stage winner Sagan targets finishing Vuelta - Wiggo wants to win it
Liquigas-Cannondale’s Peter Sagan, who in this year’s Vuelta is riding in Spain for the first time, already seems to have gained an Iberian branch for his fan club – and this afternoon, the young Slovakian rider was cheered on by them as he clinched an uphill sprint in Pontevedra to win his second stage of the race.
Bradley Wiggins was this evening unrepentant after taking the Vuelta leader’s jersey from team mate Chris Froome on Stage 11 of the Vuelta a Espana this afternoon and insists he is in a position from which he can win the race.
Vuelta Stage 11: Wiggins takes over race lead, Moncoutié solos to stage win as he hunts 4th mountains crown
Bradley Wiggins has taken over the leader's jersey at the Vuelta a Espana from Team Sky colleague Chris Froome, who drops to second after being unable to stay with an attack initiated by Garmin-Cervelo's Dan Martin 3 kilometres from the end of today's Stage 11 in Galicia.
Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins says that his display so far in this year’s Vuelta demonstrates that he is a Grand Tour rider, and that the Tour de France rather than the London 2012 Olympics is his priority for next year. He also said he was happy with the outcome of Monday’s Individual Time Trial, in which he finished third, one place behind Team Sky colleague Chris Froome who now leads the race.
Team Sky’s Chris Froome has been speaking of his surprise and delight at unexpectedly finding himself in the red jersey as overall leader of the Vuelta a Espana on a day when the smart money had been on his team leader, Bradley Wiggins, pulling off that achievement. Meanwhile, stage winnner Tony Martin confirmed that he will pose a threat to Fabian Cancellara in next month’s world championship time trial, while Taylor Phinney suggested he is ready to step up from the under-23 ranks and challenge for the senior title.
A British rider from Team Sky had been widely expected to be leading the Vuelta a Espana this evening after today's individual time trial in Salamanca - but in a huge surprise, it is the Kenya-born Chris Froome who is in the red jersey. The 26-year-old, who took British citizenshi in 2008, put in the time trial of his life to finish second behind HTC-Highroad's Tony Martin, 59 seconds behind the German, with Bradley Wiggins a further 23 seconds behind in third. Leopard Trek's Jakob Fuglsang lies second overall, splitting the British pair in the General Classification.
Dan Martin of Garmin-Cervelo insisted this evening that he was treating each day of the Vuelta as a one-day race - the cyclist's equivalent of a footballer saying he'll take each day as it comes - despite an impressive performance by the 25-year-old this afternoon that saw him land the first Grand Tour stage win of his career.
Team Sky has confirmed its line-up for the Vuelta, which starts this Saturday with a team time trial in Benidorm. Bradley Wiggins, forced out of last month’s Tour de France with a broken collarbone, has recovered and will lead the British ProTeam outfit in the Spanish Grand Tour, the first time he has raced it.
Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins has revealed that he plans to use the Stage 10 individual time trial in the Vuelta as a rehearsal for next month’s world championships in Copenhagen, and that it will also help him assess his likely recovery in 12 months' time between the Tour de France and the time trial at the London Olympics.
With just 366 days to go until the start of the 2012 Olympics in London, all British eyes are turned on which athletes will be representing Great Britain in the various disciplines. Cycling in particular.