With the first rest day we complete the first week of La Vuelta. At the beginning it was unbelievably hot. The temperature was always around 40 degrees, So, the guys paid attention to not make mistakes outside the race as well as during the race. They had to focus on drinking enough, and also drinking the right things such as electrolytes to prevent dehydration. They also had to eat properly, which sometimes the heat makes it easy to think you are not hungry. But in a race like this, with heat making bodies work even harder on the bike, riders have to always keep their bodies fueled. It was a demanding race for riders and staff, as we had to always stay focused on keeping the riders recovering and ready for the next day.
As for our leader, Rigoberto Uran, we saw a very different Rigo in the second uphill finish of La Vuelta than we did on the first. It shows he is improving and we are confident for the next days. To be completely honest, tomorrow will be an important step for our team with both the possibility of a stage win and an improvement in the overall classification position of Rigo. It's not an easy parcours, but with Tony and Rigo we can do well. Our goal is to try and repeat the performance of the Giro TT. Rigo was able to build up his GC standing and also win the stage. We will try again, this time with Rigo to improve in the overall, and for Tony to aim for the stage win.
As for the competition, if you compare it with the Giro it seems all the big names are present. Froome and Contador are here, for example. But I am still convinced Rigo can repeat his good performance and be a factor in the GC. Then, after the TT, we will see where we will be and we will decide our strategy from that point.
The rest of the guys are doing well. Tom Boonen is doing very well, and is showing he's a real captain able to stay with Rigo, and also guide young guys like Carlos Verona at his first Vuelta.
Carlos is a good guy and a good rider, and he really did well yesterday in the breakaway. That was already the 2nd time he went into the breakaway at La Vuelta and it's only the first week. He's learning quickly and we are happy with him, as we are with the rest of the guys on the team. We're happy with the rest of the guys who showed a great team spirit in supporting Uran, as well as going for stage victories when possible.
We will go "Día a día" from here and see what we can do. There is still a lot of "Camino" to go until Santiago. It's up to the staff to keep the morale high, and give the right support and technical information to our riders as we enter the next week of La Vuelta.