Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s rider looks with optimism and confidence to the second week of La Vuelta a España, which will kick off with an individual time trial in Alicante.
“We had a very hard race so far, with over 2000 vertical meters on average every day, and more than 4000 last weekend. You could feel the fatigue adding up, but despite everything I remained calm in the mountains, also knowing that I have such a strong team around me. My teammates have been really incredible and showed something special, I think everyone could see the amount of work they put in and the way they controlled the race. They proved how strong and committed they are, and to have riders with such experience put their trust in me means a lot and only motivates me more.
For years, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl has been known as a Classics team, but now we showed we can be up there also in mountains, and this tells you a lot about the versatility of the Wolfpack. The Wolfpack changes its coat, but it keeps its traits and remains at the same level. We knew how important those stages in the Asturias would be and we did our best to gain time. Thankfully, it worked out well and we can be happy with our perfect week.
Going into the second week of the race, my goal hasn’t changed. I came here focused on taking a stage victory and finishing in the top 10 overall. Of course, it feels great and it makes you proud to wear the leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour, because it’s something you need to earn, but my primary objective remains getting that win and stick to the plan, which is taking it one day at a time and be as fresh as possible for the remaining stages.
I’ve been working hard the entire season for this Vuelta, I made a lot of sacrifices, and I think this shows that if you believe in yourself and never give up it will pay off at some point.”
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images