Alberto Contador held on to the lead in Vuelta a Pais Vasco, but gave
2 seconds at the finish line to Valverde, now 12 seconds behind Contador.
– It would have been better not to lose time to Alejandro, but in the end the group has broken. It was a very different climb than usually because of the very strong headwind and the mediocre gradient. On the first pass I saw it and I noticed a right curve that could be used to attack, but the truth is that the group could easily take the wheel because of the strong wind, explains Alberto that realized that some dangerous riders were in trouble.
– I told Alejandro to go ahead, but he preferred to stay in my wheel and so, I tried to maintain a little tempo, also protecting myself a bit, because I thought he was going to attack. In some way I’m very happy, especially with the team that controlled the stage in an incredible way, because it was crazy from the start. Now the objective is recover as well as possible.
The advantage over Valverde before Saturday’s time trial leaves everything in the air, said Contador.
– Alejandro is very strong in the time trials, especially in one like this on Saturday, but it also suits me well. It will depend on how much energy we have left in the tank. 12 seconds to Alejandro is not much, but I’d rather have him behind than in front of me. And don’t forget Kwiatkoswki and some of the other contenders, concludes Alberto.