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"It’s worth trying to keep the red jersey. We’ll do so with the Astana team. Here, the most dangerous people are Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde, but today, Nicolas Roche has done an important action for winning th...

Photo: Unipublic / Graham Watson






26.08.2013 @ 14:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Race favourite Vincenzo Nibali capitalized on a good team time trial on yesterday's 2nd stage of the Vuelta. With teammate Janez Brajkovic losing contact, the Italian took over the leader's jersey after just two days of racing and he will now try to defend it for the rest of the race.


Vinceno Nibali has been regarded as the big favourite for the Vuelta and he has got his race off to a flying start. His team took a very convincing win in the team time trial and he opened up massive gaps on his major rivals.


Yesterday he finished with the main contenders on an explosive climb that was not perfectly suited to his characteristics. A small split in the sprint saw him lose two seconds to Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez but Nibali is happy with the outcome of the day.


“In the last hill, the Movistar team has set the pace very high with Eros Capecchi and Sylvester Szmyd," he said." It’s been controlled until the final sprint that has lasted for 500 metres. It was a fast finish, very suitable for Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez. As for myself, I was only behaving with regards to my ambitions on GC. I was led by Paolo Tiralongo and Jakob Fuglsang very well. My team has worked from start to finish. We’ve looked at controlling the situation and it’s gone all right.


While Nibali had a good ride, the same can't be said for Samuel Sanchez and Sergio Henao. Nibali was, however, reluctant to write off the two as potential GC riders.


"My directeur sportif Alexandr Shefer kept me informed about the riders dropping off," he said. "They have paid for their efforts, which is understandable the day after a team time trial but there are many uphill finishes at the Vuelta. That’s why we have to live it day by day."


As teammate Janez Brajkovic lost contact in the finale, Nibali is now the new race leader. The Italian will try to keep it all the way to the end.


"It’s worth trying to keep the red jersey," he said. "We’ll do so with the Astana team. Here, the most dangerous people are Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde, but today, Nicolas Roche has done an important action for winning the stage.”


Brajkovic was not impressed by his own feelings but kept the race in a bigger perspective.


“It hasn’t been a very good day for me as I was not going as well as I wanted," he said. "I’ve lost a bit of time at the end but that’s not important. We’re here for Nibali. I’m glad he took over from me. It’s been nice to wear the red jersey for one day.”



Nibali will try to stay attentive in today's stage which finishes atop a fast category 3 climb. Starting at 15.00 you can follow the stage on



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