What's Cool In Road Cycling

Rider thoughts ahead of Saturday’s Vuelta a España start

69th Vuelta a España

This Saturday the final Grand Tour of the season rolls out in southern Spain, as the 69th Vuelta a España gets underway in Jerez de la Frontera.

The three week race starts with a team time trial to kick off the 3,239 kilometre route, coming to a conclusion with an individual time trial in Santiago de Compostela on 14 September.

John Degenkolb (GER)
“I’m really motivated for the Vuelta and have prepared well for it. The week after the Tour I did some criteriums before taking some holiday then starting training again.

“We started with long rides then built up the intensity. Restarting after five days off feels very strange but everyday I have felt my shape getting better.

“Together with Johannes [Fröhlinger] and Koen [De Kort] I can help to bring experience to the younger guys in the team here and help them to develop. Not just with bottles and positioning but also on what breaks to go with and tips outside of the race too. We have a strong team here and should have a good race.”

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Warren Barguil (FRA)
“I head to the Vuelta really motivated to try for a good result overall and together with the team have worked towards being in the best shape possible through both my race program and my training in the approach to this race.

“We have a strong team here to challenge for both stages and a good overall performance and I hope that I can continue to progress and prove myself.”

trainingstage/photoshoot team GIANT in Altea

Chad Haga (USA)
“Selection for a Grand Tour is confirmation that my hard work is paying off and of the team’s plan for my long-term development.

“The racing and training programme has helped me to progress through the hardest season I have ever experienced, now the Vuelta is the real test. I am really excited.

“The first goal is obviously to finish but beyond that I want to do everything possible to help the team achieve its goals as well as targeting a strong result in the time trials.”

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Nikias Arndt(GER)
“If I look back to last year’s Vuelta I know that I have taken a step forward and am at a higher level. I am looking forward to racing again for three weeks and continuing to progress and racing to get the best results we can as a team.

“I have been looking forward to this race for a while, and I think that we have a good team here.

“My preparation has been good – I had a perfect high-altitude training camp with the team for three weeks in France followed by a hard week of racing in Poland. I already felt strong racing there and have continued to build for this race.

“The progress I have made in getting over the climbs should help me in being present on the harder stages to help John or even to take my own opportunities if the situation arises.”

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