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“Now the goal is to grow until the 2016 Olympics. We are both young. I am the oldest. I am 28 and Nelson is 25. In two years we have more experience and I think we will have better condition. We can do a great result there but first w...


Photo: Sirotti






24.09.2014 @ 20:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard, Ponferrada

Tiago Machado completed a great day for Portugal when he finished 11th in today’s Worlds time trial, finishing just a few spots behind his compatriot Nelson Oliveira. The Portuguese pair now set their sights on the Rio Olympics where they hope to do even better.


Going into today’s Worlds time trial, Portugal hadn’t gained much attention. However, the small country close to the host city of Ponferrada played a dominant role all day and occupied two spots in the hot seat for a long time.


With a 7th place and a long stint as virtual leader, Nelson Oliveira did best but the performance was completed by Tiago Machado who finished the race in 11th. For some time, the team even occupied the top two spots and Machado wasn’t pushed out of the provisional podium until Jonathan Castroviejo had finished his ride as one of the final 20 riders.


The result may have been a surprise to some but for Machado, it is in line with his expectations. Both he and Oliveira take aim at the Rio Olympics where they hope to excel in the time trial and today’s result may be a good omen for the future.


“Our pre-race expectation was to do better than last year and we did it,” Machado told CyclingQuotes while sitting on the rollers after the race. “Now the goal is to grow until the 2016 Olympics. We are both young. I am the oldest. I am 28 and Nelson is 25. In two years we have more experience and I think we will have better condition. We can do a great result there but first we need to do the work.”


A few years ago Machado was a perennial top 10 finisher in the time trials but in the last few years he seemed to have lost his previous skills. A lack of focus on the discipline was costly but now he has again turned his eyes to the race against the clock.


“I never lost the confidence in the TT,” he said. “Some years you work very hard and the results are not there. You start to wonder what is going wrong. That’s what I considered with my manager and my coach. We fixed it. In the last few years, I have not done much TT training. Maybe I lost my best level because I didn’t do the work but I preferred to work on other aspects. Next year we can do a little bit better.”


Machado’s next goal is to support Rui Costa in his attempt to defend his Worlds title. The NetApp rider expects to be the final rider at his captain’s side and feels confident in the reigning world champion’s chances.


“Normally I am the key rider to support Costa but I don’t know how I will feel when I wake up on Sunday,” he said. “I hope I wake up with good legs to support Costa as good as possible. Costa is definitely I good shape because he finished second in Montreal. It is a good sign for Sunday.


Portugal may be the defending champions but Machado doesn’t expect the team to take a big responsibility. Even though Costa needs a hard to drop the sprinters, the team mostly expects to follow wheels.


“There are other teams with more responsibility than us,” Machado said. “We are the defending champions but we are a small country and that’s how we have to play our cards.”


Costa is not known as a sprinter but as he proved in Montreal, he has a decent finishing kick. Machado warns the rivals that the reigning champion should not be underestimated in case of a sprint finish.


“We are not as slow as people think,” he said. “In a small sprint, we have a big chance. I am confident in his sprint.”


CyclingQuotes also asked Machado about his future role at the Katusha team. You can read more about that in a later article.



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