Following a strong ride on the steep Cuitu Negru climb on Stage 16 at the 2012 Vuelta a España for third place, Canyon sponsored Joaquím Rodríguez of the Katusha Team is still firmly in command at the 2012 Vuelta a España.
Riding his Canyon Aeroad CF 9.0 Team Issue bicycle, Rodríguez has a lead of 28 seconds over Alberto Contador and is more confident than ever about his chances of winning his first ever Grand Tour.
“This a very big step forward”, explained the 33-year-old from Barcelona. The hardest part of Vuelta is behind us now. It’s true there are some very hard mountain finishes ahead like Fuente Dé and the Bola del Mundo, and the stages to Valladolid and Segovia are not easy either but the toughest ones are behind us now.
I didn’t get much of an advantage today on Cuitu Negru ahead of Contador, but I got a few seconds and that gives me a little bit more margin. The Bola del Mundo and the sierras of Madrid always make for tough racing, and Alberto will be racing on home terrain, so that’s an advantage for him. It’s not over yet.”
Tuesday’s rest day offers the tired Vuelta peloton some respite, and then it’s right back on the road. Wednesday’s uphill finale to Fuente Dé in the Picos de Europa is tough, then it’s two flat stages until Saturday’s climax at Bola del Mundo near Madrid.