The 22 teams and 176 riders participating in La Vuelta 19 were presented to the public on Thursday evening.
Colombian stars and Jumbo-Visma leaders shared their high ambitions while Spanish riders shared their experience with kids and visited the University Hospital of Torrevieja.
COLOMBIAN PARTY AT LA VUELTA?
Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) has a new dream: “It would be the greatest pride to win La Vuelta and have a Latin American party”. The Colombian climber, winner of La Vuelta 16, is one of the main talents able to lift Latin American riders to a third Grand Tour win this season, after Richard Carapaz at the Giro d’Italia (the Ecuadorian had to withdraw from La Vuelta on Thursday with contusions to his right shoulder) and Egan Bernal at the Tour de France. “We’re coming with a great team and we’ll enjoy it with Alejandro (Valverde)”, Quintana added on Thursday during the top riders’ press conference. “He is the leader and I’ll try to stay in contention too”, Valverde said while other Colombian talents were laying out their ambitions. “My
goal is the same as it is in every race, I want to do a bit better than the previous time and keep growing”, Miguel Ángel López (Astana) said a year after his first podium finish in La Vuelta. “We don’t have individual goals with Mitchelton-Scott, but a collective one: to fight for stage wins”, Esteban Chaves said.
KRUIJSWIJK AND ROGLIC BOTH “WANT TO WIN”
Jumbo-Visma has brought to the Costa Blanca their leaders from the Giro, Primoz Roglic (3rd overall), and the Tour de France, Steven Kruijswjik (3rd), with high ambitions. “To finish on the podium of a Grand Tour is nice but I’ve already done it at the Giro so I want to win here”, Roglic said. “I’ll try everything to win it.” Kruijswijk, who finished 4th at La Vuelta 18 and proved he could do well in both the French and Spanish Grand Tours, also comes with high ambitions, as he told the media on Thursday: “I’m here to help the team win La Vuelta but I’d like to do it myself of course. Primoz is also one of the favorites and we have to see halfway through La Vuelta. We start with the ambition to be up there and we can play some games, being so strong as a team.”
CUTE QUESTIONS AND SINCERE LAUGHS WITH THE KIDS PRESS CONFERENCE
The kids participating in the 1st stage of La Vuelta Junior Cofidis, this Saturday in Torrevieja, made the most of their own press conference with four riders participating in La Vuelta 19. Ángel Madrazo (Burgos BH), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis-Solutions Crédits), Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias) shared some good laughs and insights into their life as professional cyclists. What do they eat? When did they take the training wheels off of their bikes? And what about studies? “It always has to come first!”, Madrazo urged them. Herrada told them about his childhood idol, Marco Pantani, “although I’m a very different kind of cyclist”,
while Pardilla recalled memories of his first bike – “It was way too big”. Samitier shared a painful but funny anecdote about how he suffered a collarbone fracture: “I raised my hands in a downhill to show off in front of my friends and I crashed into a hearse that was parked there.”
LA VUELTA AND CAJA RURAL VISIT KIDS IN THE HOSPITAL OF TORREVIEJA
Young kids admitted in the University Hospital of Torrevieja were visited by riders from the Spanish Continental Pro team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA on Thursday morning with Ricardo Goñi, the team’s vice president, and Manuel Ruiz, representative from the Group Caja Rural and Seguros RGA. They enjoyed this opportunity to present the Solidarity Initiative the company organises every year during La Vuelta: on September 5th, the 8.000 employees of the Group Caja Rural will drop their suit and wear the green jersey sported by the team and 10% of the insurance policies sold on that day will help finance the projects of the Red Cross. “I want to thank Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
and their partners for helping us show cycling is more than a sport”, the general manager of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén said after participating in the hospital visit.
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