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Alejandro takes two in San Miguel de Aralar

Alejandro takes two in San Miguel de Aralar

Closer to the red jersey

After a new unfortunate crash for Nairo Quintana who was obliged to give up the race, Alejandro is now the only leader of Movistar Team for the remaining stages of the Vuelta a España.

Second of today stage behind Italian Fabio Aru, Alejandro took 7 seconds back to Alberto Contador thanks to the bonuses he won at the intermediate sprint and at the finish. He is still leading the classification of the most regular rider.

Alejandro’s quotes:

“It was a ‘good’ day, in quotations. Nairo’s crash happened just to my side; he was riding just behind me. We were riding around 40th position into the bunch: Imanol, Nairo and myself. Some riders crashed in front of us – while I was able to watch them come to my side and avoid them, he just couldn’t and fell. I want to send him all my support from here, and also all my team-mates’. Things went bad for him yesterday with his crash, and many times, when such things happen, there’s almost no way to turn things around.

“Apart from that, should things go like today until the end of the Vuelta – I’d just sign next to it. I didn’t plan to sprint into the intermediate, but some kilometers before Contador attacked, I went for him and I took the bonus seconds. Aralar was a tough climb: partly because of the rought roads, but especially because the pace from the foot of the ascent was really high. Aru went for the win – he really deserved it, he did a great climb. I finished second, with another bonus, and provided that it was a mountain stage and seeing how strong Contador is doing, finishing a mountain stage with seconds won on him rather than lost is something to be happy about.

“Now we’re leading the team – one more time. I’ve spent many Grand Tours leading the squad and this doesn’t change anything for me. I don’t like that it all happened nor this new situation – I preferred how things were going before Nairo’s crash, but you have to face things. I already changed my mentality into the race: I was up-front today, I actually was up-front all Vuelta, but having Nairo by my side was way better – now we have to tackle the end of the race on my own – with my great team-mates, but it comes down to myself and I’ll keep fighting. It will be hard for me to stay away on the climbs, but I must keep strong there, and if I’m able to win some time, the more the better.”

Tomorrow: stage 12: Logroño-Logroño (166 km)