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"He is always very grateful to all teammates and it is a joy to work for him."

Photo: Sirotti

CHRIS FROOME

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MIKEL NIEVE

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TEAM SKY

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VUELTA A ANDALUCIA

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NEWS
23.02.2015 @ 12:32 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mikel Nieve could not have hoped for a better start to the season after he finished fourth behind his team leader Chris Froome at the Vuelta a Andalucia. The Basque climber showed excellent condition on the steep climbs in Southern Spain.

 

Again Nieve showed his skills in the mountains with a fifth place on the Alto de Hazallanas where he was set back by a puncture, and a third place behind Froome and Contador on the Alto de Allanadas. Furthermore, he played a key tole for his leader.

 

 

"The truth is I'm so happy with this start of the the year and the first race. On Saturday we had a very great day. We were in front every day and the truth is that Chris put on a show which lifts the morale for everyone," he says.

 

According to Nieve, Froome is full of praise for his work. "He is always very grateful to all teammates and it is a joy to work for him," he says.

 

Now he expects to continue along this path. "I have worked very well this winter. You never know where you'll be and I did not expect to be so good. I'm happy to have this level. I hope to continue and even improve for Tirreno," he says. In Italy he will again ride in support of Froome before he focuses on the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

 

On a personal level, he finished fourth but a podium spot would have been within reach if it hadn't been for bad luck on the Hazallanas. "I had a puncture woth 12km to go  and I lost a lot of time. I had to make a big effort just to get back to the peloton and I think I paid for that at the beginning of the climb. Perhaps I could have done better, but I will not complain about my luck because I escaped the crashes on the first day. So I'm pleased with my performance. Froome and Contador are a notch or two above the rest."

 

In his second year with Sky, Nieve is expected to return to the Tour de France to try to win the race with Froome. And the Vuelta a Espana is also in his calendar.

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