Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nieve 13th on GC after TT

Mikel Nieve struggled in the Vuelta's 46km pancake-flat ITT today, but is still excellently placed at 13th overall. The 26-year-old rode to a 79th place finish on the out-and-back course in Peñafiel, 5:21 adrift of surprise winner Velits. "The time trial was hard and I was exhausted at the finish", the amicable recent stage-winner said post-race. "The first part was horrible, there was a head-wind, I didn't really get up to speed... I've never done such a long TT before, so I suffered till the last meter, though I did feel better towards the end." Lying 13th overall at 9:22 off Nibali, but more importantly 3:41 adrift of current number 10 LL Sánchez, Mikel has not conceded defeat in the fight for a top 10 placing just yet. "It would be good to finish inside the top 10", he stated matter-of-factly. "I'm not going to deny that, but it's not an objective. We've shown that we're going well, and we hope to keep that up." Gorka Verdugo was unsurprisingly Euskaltel's best man today. The climber-cum-time-triallist powered his way to a decent 27th, 2:39 back. Txurruka was 92nd, Urtasun 101st, Oroz 102nd and Koldo 152nd.

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