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“Even if nothing is broken, the pain around my ribs is still persistent. It hurts when I breathe.  But this is just a pain, and I will put up with it. So now I draw a line under this crash and move forward."

Photo: Sirotti






08.09.2015 @ 17:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The helicopter is reserved for the top ten in the overall classification, so the IAM Cycling riders relied on the team bus Monday night to get them from the top of Ermita de Alba to their hotel in Burgos.  During the hours that the 300 kilometer trip took, the team was able to celebrate Larry Warbasse’s promising 8th place on the difficult stage that had ended only a couple hours before. 


The main downside of the evening was that Sylvain Chavanel was far from feeling his best after having had a hard crash on the descent of one of the late climbs.  On Tuesday, he went to the Burgos hospital for additional tests; Chavanel, who has won many national time trial championships in France, wanted to be certain that he had not fractured anything underneath all the contusions that he had suffered on his ribs, hip, and elbow.  A reassuring diagnosis from the hospital staff convinced the IAM Cycling sports managers and the team doctors that Chavanel could be allowed to continue racing the Vuelta.


“Even if nothing is broken, the pain around my ribs is still persistent,” Chavanel explained.  “It hurts when I breathe.  But this is just a pain, and I will put up with it. So now I draw a line under this crash and move forward. 


"Nevertheless, I am not pleased, especially since I wanted to show my strength in tomorrow’s time trial.  I am ready to push myself to the maximum in order to go as fast as I can and get a good result in this time trial.”


Encouraged to continue, Sylvain Chavanel remains confident and motivated for the next stages on the Spanish roads.  During the rest day, he was able to feel serene and analyze his progress during this Vuelta with a little more perspective:


“I started the Tour of Spain exactly the same way I started the Giro: with a crash.  When I tally it all up, I crashed three times at the Giro, twice at the Tour de France, and now twice at the Vuelta.  Enough is enough. So I will not say that I am entirely satisfied with how things have been going. 


"That said, I tried to get into a breakaway to go for the stage win, but I was up against someone who simply was stronger than me.   This is a difficult Vuelta with tons of attacks, with a very high speed, and with stage finishes that are often extremely steep with crazy gradients, ideal for the pure climbers.  In the end, for riders like me, there just aren’t that many opportunities. 


"But I am a fighter, and I am still trying to find the right breakaway that will give me the chance to raise my arms in victory.  I am not saying that this will be easy, because at this point the majority of the pack knows that there are only a very few stages left that will smile on the cagey baroudeurs.  But when the profile looks to suit me, then I will certainly want to attack.  I will have to be in a good move, and I will have to have a bit of success. 


"One other aspect we have to deal with is the fact that we are only six riders still competing in the race for IAM Cycling.  So we also have to think of how to save our chips and count every pedal stroke.  This is just something we have to deal with; it is simply a fact of cycling. 


"We have two young riders, Simon Pellaud and Marcel Aregger, and we do not want to put too much pressure on them and wear them down unnecessarily.  Their primary goal is to make it to Madrid.  Vicente Reynes has not been feeling great for a few days as well.  So in the end, there is basically just Jerôme Coppel, Larry Warbasse and me who can stay really aggressive.  And though with only three, it will not be easy, it will not prevent us from having our ambitions for the next stages.”



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