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"Today we should see a breakaway go all the way so it should be reasonably quiet for the GC riders. But you never know in the Vuelta. Tomorrow is another hard day in the mountains."

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GIANLUCA BRAMBILLA

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JIMMY ENGOULVENT

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ROMAIN SICARD

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RUBEN PLAZA MOLINA

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SIMON GERRANS

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STEPHANE ROSSETTO

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TOM DUMOULIN

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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04.09.2015 @ 16:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Several riders and sports directors spoke to lavuelta.com this morning. Below you can read what some of them had to say.

 

°Fernando Escartin (Vuelta technical director): "In the finale, the 3rd category climb is not difficult. A break will go all the way for sure as the finale is all flat."

 

° Tom Dumoulin (Giant Alpecin): "Today we should see a breakaway go all the way so it should be reasonably quiet for the GC riders. But you never know in the Vuelta. Tomorrow is another hard day in the mountains, possibly as hard as Andorra. My strategy is not only to avoid losing time. If I have an opportunity like I had in the first week, I will take it. That's the best way to stay in a good position for the GC especially as the morale and the legs are good. It's true that we ride a similar race with Esteban. I know him well since the Tour de l'Avenir that he won and I get on very well with him outside of the race."

 

° Christian Guiberteau (Giant-Alpecin team director) : "Today's obvious scenario is a breakaway. And to be honest we're not going to try to be in it as we worked pretty hard in the last couple of days. Yes Tom has real GC ambitions but he shouldn't tell you! We're a little disappointed for John (Degenkolb) but sprints are difficult in this Vuelta because there are no big trains like in other grand Tours and sprints are a bit chaotic. He misjudged the finale yesterday. Things like that happen."

 

° Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx- Quick Step): "I didn't come here with GC ambitions but now I have to keep an eye on it. My goal however remains to win a stage like everybody else in the team. We really deserve to win one. We've been very active in this race, with a rider in every break. Today I don't hope we have a rider in the break, I hope we win the stage. Personally I didn't surprise myself. I already finished 13th in the Giro d'Italia. It's just that we had no leader here so I can have my chance."

 

° Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida): "My legs are very good, my morale too. In our team we're trying to have a rider in the break everyday and today is ideal for a break. I'm the one who's designated to go. My ultimate goal is to win a Vuelta stage like I won a Tour de France stage. And today is the ideal day."

 

° Simon Gerrans (Orica-Greenedge): "My form is really coming back stronger and stronger. I had a couple of crashes that held me back a little but it's really getting better now. On paper, today's stage really suits me but there should a break and it's not the plan to go in it. We still have to protect Esteban's GC position. I have real ambitions for the end of the season and especially the worlds with what should be a very strong Australian team. It's a bit early to discuss everybody's role in the team. We need to get  closer to it and the course is a bit of an unknown." 

 

° Romain Sicard (Europcar): "Yesterday I was a bit hungover from my efforts in Andorra. I hope I have recovered for the hard weekend ahead of us.  I 'm proud to have taken my chance in the queen stage of this Vuelta. Now I'm going to play it day by day and see where it takes me. Today is ideal for a breakaway and obviously, with my GC position, I won't be part of it."

 

° Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar): "I'm in good form so I'm not struggling too much in this Vuelta. We have to go into the break because today's is an impossible stage to control. If there are attacks in the climb, it will be tricky for me. I will see after the first five or six kilometres. If I want to be part of it, I will need to go before the big climb."

 

° Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis): "To me, this Vuelta is still a learning process. I take it day by day and learn things every day. Obviously the level is higher at every level of the race. I'll make a recap at the end of the Vuelta to see what I learnt. I still have to go into a break but I won't have my chance until I'm further down in the GC. I didn't surprise myself as my team told me it would go like this. I will see how well I can do on the GC. We have three very hard days ahead of us and if I manage to keep in the top 15 or 20,I'll keep an eye on the GC. The order of the day is for one of us to go into the break and have fun."  

 

° Franck Pineau (FDJ): "It's a stage that we really want to do well in. We prepared very well for it. It's a stage for a god result. I have seven riders. Whichever it is, we need a rider in the break and if there is a move in the climb, Kenny [Elissonde] and Courteille, who is getting better and better are our major trumps."

 

° Dirk De Mol (Trek Facotry team director): "Yesterday morning, I could feel that Danny Van Poppel was going to win. Today a break will battle it out for the win but there's only seven of us. Everybody worked hard yesterday. I keep in mind the grueling three days ahead of us and I'm not asking my riders to go in the front especially as the stage will be held with a lot of headwind. They can do whatever they want, I'm not going to put any pressure on them."

 

° Erik Dekker (LottoNL-Jumbo team director): "Maarten Wynants does not start. He has stomach problems and suffers too much this morning to go on his bike. Otherwise, the plan today is the same as every day. Our seven riders must try to go in a break even Lindeman who was already an escapee yesterday."

 

° Jose Azevedo (Katusha tram director):  "It's the last quiet day before a battle of three days. Quiet is a matter of speaking because even yesterday it was going very hard. The three days ahead are decisive. Aru is very strong but I think he can be beaten. Three teams, Astana, Katusha and Movistar have no choice but to attack because if things remain the same in Burgos, the winner of the Vuelta will be Tom Dumoulin. He' amazing, he's only 24. The key is the finish on Monday, seven very hard kilometers on a small road with 18 pc sections."    

 

° Valerio Tebaldi (Colombia team director): "The polka-dot jersey is over. We're not going to win it. Our only gameplan is now to go in the breaks. It would be for us the only way to win a stage. Quintero and Torres are our best chances."

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