Eleven years after winning his first Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Andreas Kloden took his second victory on Saturday after a week of top-level racing in the Basque Country. The second place overall of Chris Horner made for a successful week for Team RadioShack, cyclingnews.com informs.
Kloden, 35, entered time trial in second place, tied on time with Spanish riders Joaquin Rodriquez (Katusha) and Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi). But the German rider was the only one of the three who performed at a top level and dominated his rivals to earn the win. He arrived in Zalla with a finish time five seconds behind winner Tony Martin. Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) finished third, 24 seconds behind.
“The time trial went so well,” said a happy Kloden. “Johan Bruyneel and Jose Azevedo coached me so well in the following car. They had the split times of Tony Martin. I started very fast and the climb went very well for me. I could keep my good pace till the end. Perfect.”
“Andreas was really motivated,” explained Team Director Johan Bruyneel. “He saw the course four times, by bike and in the car. It shows his determination to win. He wanted to take the victory.
Already from the beginning it was clear that he was in the right rhythm. On the top of the climb he was seven seconds faster than Martin, but better yet, 30 seconds better than the other GC contenders. That’s why we decided not to take any more risks in the descent and not jeopardize the overall victory. We also knew it would be hard to beat Tony Martin on that flat part.”