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"I’m really scared, not nervous, scared. It’s a really big responsibility, but this is part of the game, this is beautiful."

Photo: Delmati








24.08.2015 @ 23:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Colombian Esteban Chaves, winner of yesterday’s stage, has finished safely in the bunch on stage three of the Vuelta a Espanato retain the red leader’s jersey.


Further capitalising on their hard work at the front of the peloton, the 25-year-old’s ORICA-GreenEDGE teammates fought to set up Australian Mitch Docker for seventh place in the bunch sprint finish.


“The team worked fantastic today, all of the guys for me,” Chaves said.


“It’s really good to have the experienced guys like Mat Hayman,Simon Gerrans, Daryl Impey and Cameron Meyer to help keep the red jersey.”


Asked if wearing a Grand Tour leader’s jersey created any nerves, the 2014 Tour de Suisse and Tour of California stage winner conceded.


“Of course,” he laughed. “I’m really scared, not nervous, scared.


“It’s a really big responsibility, but this is part of the game, this is beautiful.


“I was a bit nervous. It was an important day for me. It was the first time I was riding with the leader’s jersey of a grand Tour. I’m lucky to ride for an experienced team, with riders like Gerrans and Meyer who rode several Vueltas, it keeps me relaxed. They gave me a lot of advice about feeding and drinking. They were around me all day. In the team we always take things a bit more relaxed than they do elsewhere. That helps me to take it easier. It went really well and I hope it continues like this tomorrow.


"We had a fabulous day, we had no mishap. I hope that tomorrow will be like this. And  every day too. Every day you have three or four hours of racing in which anything can happen. The goal tomorrow is to try to keep the red jersey.


"We went up the first category climb at a rate that we call 'tempo', but Tinkoff-Saxo and Giant-Alpecin made it hard in the second part. That was the reason why Caleb Ewan lost contact with the peloton."


Sport director Neil Stephens said the team’s priority was the red jersey, knowing that the tough mid-stage category one climb could potentially make it difficult for neo-pro sprinter Caleb Ewan in his first Grand Tour.


“This morning we had to make a bit of a decision,” Stephens explained. “We had a fantastic win yesterday, but also the time differences were really important.


“We have the leader’s jersey of one of the biggest races in the world, that’s nothing to blow off and we want to keep that for a few days longer.


“Caleb didn’t actually miss the top of the climb by much, in fact he got over the climb but just lost touch on a pinch later on.”


Stephens also praised Docker, who stepped up from his lead out duties to contest the sprint.


“It was nice to see Mitch Docker, who is generally our lead out guy and one of the workers, have a bit of a sprint in the finish,” he said.


“Seventh place in a Grand Tour sprint, that’s nothing to take lightly.”



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