Vuelta Andalucia: Time Trial

Victor Campenaerts wins the time trial from GC contenders Valverde and Contador – Valverde now leads overall

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Vuelta a Andalucia: Time Trial

Belgian champ Victor Campenaerts, wins the time trial but Valverde takes back race lead from Contador

Dutch team LottoNL – Jumbo’s first win of 2017 came in the Vuelta Andalucia Time Trial as Belgian champion Victor Campenaerts beat the GC contenders in Córdoba, Spain. Wednesday’s winner Alejandro Valverde was only one second behind in second place, and by beating his fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador (Trek – Segafredo), the Movistar rider regained the overall lead by a slim margin.

With a circular route of 11.9 km around the city center of the city, it was a very technical test that included some tough climbs in which the leaders of the GC classification had to defend their positions.

It was for Campenaerts his first individual time trial of the season. “Everything today was good, the preparation was good and the race went perfectly for me” Campenaerts explained. “We have worked hard as a team and it is nice that it pays off with a victory. For several weeks, I feel I get in good shape. This was the first individual time trial and we have made every effort to appear our best here.”

“The course was not in my favor, a little too much climbing, but I managed to use my ability against the watch. I kept a high pace and the in the twists and turns I could take perfectly”.

Alejandro Valverde: One second away from a hundred pro victories. Valverde raced back into the GC lead in Andalucía after 2nd place and is now only 1″ ahead of Contador on the overall with two days to go in the race – which could bring Spaniard his 100th win as pro. “The two days coming now should be easier than the three we’ve covered so far”.

“I was keeping in my mind that the man in red at the end of today’s TT was all but certain to win overall, but Alberto is now sitting only one second behind, and Sunday’s ride could be a wet one… We should wait before saying this has been won. I’ve got a great team by my side and we must keep attentive because, even though the routes don’t seem to be difficult, things can change in an instant”.

“For the moment, we’re back in the lead and we’ve reached it into a time trial, which is massive for me. I felt quite comfortable over the course, it suited me well. Already this morning I was feeling well over it, and it proved to be right in the afternoon. I had decided to go full gas into the first half of the race, which was better for my conditions, and I tried to use my energy well over the second part, so I could at least be close to the leader’s jersey.
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“One second is nothing. You can’t feel calm, even less so with Alberto Contador behind you. He’s a man of strategy and proved to be really strong today, too. Before we get to the finish on Sunday, the race is not won at all. I’m showing I’m dong well over every course: I won stage one, took 3rd yesterday, came incredibly close to winning today…

Alberto Contador: “My feeling wasn’t bad, I had good legs, but the truth is that I just started racing and even though I felt my legs were really good, I also felt I lack still a bit of competition rhythm,” Contador said. “But in the end, the sensations were really good, and it was a matter of only a few seconds today. Obviously, Alejandro did a really good job today, and I congratulate him for that.”

“It’s a pity that there are not two more mountain stages where Alejandro and I could continue the fight between us,” continued Contador. “For me, I think it’s complicated to take the overall because the two stages left are more designed for sprinters. This year this race is a bit unusual, with the hardest stages at the beginning and that limits the possibilities a lot.”

“But this week is going already way better than I expected, it’s my first race, and obviously I knew that the parcours of the stages didn’t really suit me. But you know, once I am in a race, even though Paris-Nice is my first real goal of the season, I do give it my all to make the best result possible.”

1. Victor Campenaerts, Team LottoNL-Jumbo 14:55
2. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team 0:01
3. Alberto Contador, Trek – Segafredo :06
4. Thibaut Pinot, FDJ :09
5. Fabio Felline, Trek – Segafredo
6. Wout Poels, Team Sky :16
7. Tim Wellens, Lotto Soudal :20
8. Vasil Kiryienka, Team Sky 10:21
9. Tobias Ludvigsson, FDJ 0:25
10. Matthias Brändle, Trek – Segafredo 0:28

1. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team 9:01:34
2. Alberto Contador, Trek – Segafredo 0:01
3. Thibaut Pinot, FDJ 0:06
4. Wout Poels, Team Sky 0:21
5. Diego Rosa, Team Sky 0:45



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