At 30 seconds from the podium
One more day, on the occasion of the 14th stage of the Tour that took place today between Rodez and Mende on the distance of the 178, 5 km, Alejandro showed one more day how strong he is, attacking and counterattacking in the difficult climb to Mende. Thanks to his courage the Spanish champion is each day closer to the podium (now only 30 seconds behind Tejay Van Garderen who lost his second place in favour of Nairo Quintana.
“It was a good day for us. We couldn’t gain time on the leader since, as everyone saw, Froome is super strong – he’s able to set a huge pace and it’s really difficult to ‘derail’ – but still, we did a really good stage. Shouldn’t we be able to beat him nor Sky, it will be because they were stronger than us, but we’ll keep showing courage and willingness to try. Though winning the Tour remains difficult at this point, we must keep working. There’s still all Alps left and we’ve got these two days, plus the rest one, to keep recovering.
“I’m feeling really great at the moment – legs continue to roll well at the moment and I hope them to continue this way into the last week. I was doing my work through the climb; I didn’t want to stay between Nairo and the other favourites, taking them into Nairo’s wheel would have been really bad, so I waited, then kept my own pace not to lose much time, and with that same rhythm, I chased down Alberto and still had energy to drop him back. When I reached him, Contador asked me for some turns and I told him I couldn’t take them, because Nairo was ahead. This is racing: he’s doing his job, mine is to take care of Nairo, and he was the one who had to push.
“There’s a beautiful battle for the GC podium ahead, with plenty of mountains still to come. We took some gains today, but we might lose elsewhere. There’s a long way home yet and my main goal till Paris is helping Nairo out for the victory. If I get into the podium, that’d really be fantastic, but that’s a distant dream at the moment.”