“I went from feeling empty to feeling good to feeling empty once more,” was how up-and-coming Spanish racer and GC contender Carlos Rodriguez mentioned he felt on the Les Praeres climb, after a topsy-turvy first week of the Vuelta a España for himself and his Ineos Grenadiers squad.
Ninth on every of the three summit finishes within the Vuelta up to now, Rodriguez‘s consistency has seen him stay in fourth place on Sunday even whereas his three different teammates with potential GC aspirations have fallen again.
2020 Vuelta runner-up Richard Carapaz had a tough first ascent of Pico Jano and has since slumped out of GC competition. Then Pavel Sivakov suffered on the Colláu Fancuaya and eventually Tao Geoghegan Hart, fifth total on Saturday, was unfortunate sufficient to crash on Sunday on the strategy to Les Praeres, and misplaced over six minutes in consequence.
The 22-year-old Spanish Nationwide Champion admitted that he had an uneven trip on Les Praeres, and had been overly formidable early on. However he got here via the stage with a robust sufficient finale to stay in fourth total.
“It was a reasonably powerful end, I believe greater than I anticipated. I began going very sturdy early on the climb, after which it simply felt prefer it was by no means going to finish,” Rodriguez mentioned. “Lastly I misplaced priceless time to Remco, however I used to be additionally going nicely in comparison with different rivals.”
His emotions on Les Praeres, he mentioned, assorted wildly. “I went from empty to feeling good to feeling empty once more. We needed to take it steadily immediately, and I did not go on the optimum tempo as a result of I went too deep at the start wanting to stick with the very best.
“That made me push greater than was mandatory, however I’m comfortable to have stayed with the opposite rivals, and now I must recuperate and look in the direction of the second week.”
Rodriguez recognised that he was doing nicely, however pointed to his group has had some main misfortune, too, on stage 9.
“Tao [Geoghegan Hart] was unfortunate, falling like that. I hope he will get via OK, and that he hasn’t damage himself too badly,” he mentioned.
Meantime, the deal with main on GC for Ineos Grenadiers has now fallen on Rodriguez’s shoulders.
And in phrases that echoed these utilized by his even youthful compatriot Juan Ayuso (UAE Group Emirates), at the moment working fifth total, Rodriguez mentioned that he had no thought how far he might go on GC, and he would keep formidable, however that “no matter comes, comes.”
“Being on the rostrum in a Grand Tour could be a dream come true… but when I crash out and are available final I additionally should be comfortable, so long as I’ve given it every part I’ve,” he concluded.