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 “When we got to the last climb I felt good -  good like I could still race to the finish. It’s still a long way from my top form, but I’m getting better with respect to the other riders here - like, I’m fu...

Photo: Sirotti


26.01.2014 @ 17:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Julian Arredondo (Trek) beat Sergio Godoy (San Luis) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) to win the final mountain stage of the Tour de San Luis. We have already posted a number of reactions from the event and have gathered a few more below.


Michele Scarponi (Astana, 17th on the stage +0.54, 22nd on GC +8.49)

 “When we got to the last climb I felt good –  good like I could still race to the finish. It’s still a long way from my top form, but I’m getting better with respect to the other riders here – like, I’m further along now than I was when I got here."


Speaking about the big crash that brought down teammates Vincenzo Nibali, Mikel Landa and Fredrik Kessiakoff: “I was in front of the crash – I didn’t see it. Nibali and Landa went down in a big one – I think Kessiakoff, too.”


Darwin Atapuma (BMC, 12th on the stage +0.36, 9th on GC +3.21)

"I am very happy about the team work that also today was excellent. But I am sad because I couldn’t finalize their great job with a good result. But we are working at the best and we hope we will be able to gain some victories as soon as possible."


Jackson Stewart (sports director BMC whose best rider was Darwin Atapuma in 12th)

"It didn't turn out as well as we hoped. It was a good try by everyone. We put Larry [Warbasse] in the break and we were hoping he could get some good time to the base and maybe go for the stage if maybe the other teams were content with that. (But) they weren't. San Luis Somos Todos and Movistar pulled all day and brought it back and they both ended up getting beaten anyway. Atapuma wasn't feeling the best, and, by the looks of Stetina, he wasn't on his best day either. We executed our plan perfectly, we can't really say we made any mistakes. There were just some guys better than us on the day."


Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp, 8th on the stage +0.14, 2nd on GC +0.35)

"Somehow I had today what I didn't have a few days ago and wanted to have all week. The legs were awesome and Tom [Danielson] saved my ass as always."


Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida, 13th on the stage +0.39, 19th on GC +8.08)

"For much of the stage, a group of seven riders had a lead with an advantage that was kept under control by Movistar who always made sure that it didn't get too big. As we approached the final climb, the pace of the peloton increased so we started the climb up to Mirador del Sol at a very high speed. Serpa and I were able to go up the climb with the best and have shown good form. It would have been very nice for Jose to take this victory.


"As for myself, I am satisfied with the signals I got from this stage. I am in Argentina to work on my level of competitiveness. I will say that I have made a nice first step on this path here."


Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEDGE, part of the long breakaway, 85th on the stage +8.03, 72nd on GC +30.01)

"Before the race even began, I had the idea that I wanted to get into the break one day. It was less about getting a result and more about having some good training. Of course, once I’m in the breakaway, I’m always going to try to get a good result.


"Today was pretty fast. The whole group knew it would be difficult to stay in the front because it was an uphill finish. They didn’t give us much time. I realised quite early that today would be a training day instead of a result day.


"Being in the front the whole day, it’s a hard thing. The riders in the break are working all day. It’s not easy to get the same sort of effort out of a training day on my own. I’m thinking about traffic or where I can stop for drinks. When I train on my own, I can’t go out and do an entire five hour ride full gas. Aside from the logistical challenges, it’s also mentally hard. In a race scenario, it forces me to go as hard as possible for the allotted time. If the team doesn’t have any specific goals on a stage or in a race, being in the break is always a good option to get a training load like this.


"I felt strong in the breakaway. We managed to stay in the front a bit longer than I expected. There was a big crash in the bunch with maybe 20 kilometres left. Our group lost a few riders along the way. I was one of the last ones caught on the lower slopes of the final climb. The peloton didn’t want to let us go all the way to the finish.


"Today was the last important day for Adam [Yates who moved up to 11th on GC]. He did another good ride. Tomorrow is flat stage, so we think we’ll have a sprint at the end. We’ll try to get Aidis Kruopis up there for the finish and see what kind of result he can get to close out the week.


"I’m satisfied with my training and racing in Argentina. The only thing that hasn't been great for me is the weather. It was really, really hot here for many days. Today and yesterday were the first time we had normal weather. Up until two days ago, it was much too hot for me.


"As you probably already know by now, we arrived a good week before the race started. The team got in some really good training rides. The roads here are very good and there’s a lot of options for the flats and the hills.


"The race is practically perfect for this time of year. The stages are just enough. They’re hard but they’re not too hard, so there’s not a big worry that we’ll come out of the tour completely tired. I’ve considered every day as a good opportunity for training, and my goal has been to come out of the race better than I came into the race. For me, so far, it’s worked out very well. Every day in the race, I’ve felt stronger. I hope this lays a good foundation for the rest of the season.


Oscar Pellicioli (sports director Colombia whose best rider was Miguel Angel Rubiano in 29th)

It is just the first race of the season and one of the things you can lack at this point of the year is consistency. Miguel didn’t feel great yesterday either, and today he couldn’t hold up with the strongest. Nevertheless, everybody knows our focus is on the Giro d’Italia, and I like the first steps of the Team into this season. In particular, Edwin Avila and Juan Pablo Valencia did a great job today too, as they supported Rubiano until close to the finishing line.



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