8.23.2014

La Vuelta: TTT start time and all teams previews

Vuelta a EspañaOfficial Site http://www.lavuelta.com/
To watch it on streaming http://www.cyclingfans.com/vuelta-a-espana/live

TTT Start times (CET)
Source: http://www.cyclingstage.com/vuelta-2014/start-times-ttt-spain-2014/
19:04 – MTN-Qhubeka
19:08 – Cofidis Solutions Crédits
19:12 – Team Europar
19:16 – Team Giant-Shimano (John Degenkolb, Warren Barguil etc.)
19:20 – AG2R La Mondiale (Carlos Betancur etc.)
19:24 – Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
19:28 – IAM Cycling
19:32 – Orica-GreenEdge (Michael Matthews, Esteban Chavez etc.)
19:36 – Cannondale Pro Cycling (Peter Sagan etc.)
19:40 – FDJ.fr (Thibaut Pinot, Nacer Bouhanni etc.)
19:44 – Lampre-Merida
19:48 – BMC Racing Team (Cadel Evans and Rohan Dennis etc.)
19:52 – Trek Factory Racing (Fabian Cancellara, Julián Arredondo etc.)
19:56 – Belkin Pro Cycling Team (Wilco Kelderman etc.)
20:00 – Garmin-Sharp (Ryder Hesjedal, Daniel Martin, Andrew Talansky etc.)
20:04 – Lotto-Belisol (Jurgen Van den Broeck etc.)
20:08 – Astana Pro Team (Fabio Aru etc.)
20:12 – Team Katusha (Joaquim Rodriguez etc.)
20:16 – Team Sky – (Chris Froome etc.)
20:20 – Omega Pharma-Quick Step (Rigoberto Uran, Tony Martin etc.)
20:24 – Tinkoff-Saxo (Alberto Contador etc.)
20:28 – Movistar Team (Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde etc.)


Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford:
"This year’s Vuelta is a great opportunity for us to get back to Grand Tour racing and I’m delighted that we’ll go there with a strong team that’s very capable of performing well.
Chris Froome will be our team leader and it’s great to have him back on the bike and focused on the challenge ahead. He was obviously very disappointed after having to withdraw from the Tour de France but Chris has recovered and trained well since the injury. He’s now more determined than ever to get back to what he does best – riding Grand Tours.
Chris is joined in the line-up by Peter Kennaugh and Luke Rowe, demonstrating once again the depth of British talent we have in the squad as they are both capable of making a big impact at the Vuelta. Philip Deignan and Mikel Nieve both race their second Grand Tours of the season and will add real quality in the mountains, with Dario Cataldo adding all-round ability to the team.
Experience and expertise are vital components when selecting any successful team and Chris has three hugely experienced riders alongside him in Christian Knees, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Vasil Kiryienka. Together they have raced 36 Grand Tours and that adds a huge amount of value to the team.
We’re all excited, focused and ready to get started."
Chris Froome:
"This is exactly the sort of challenge that I need after the disappointment of withdrawing from the Tour de France. You can’t dwell on disappointment, you have to move on quickly to next thing and the Vuelta has become the perfect race for me to focus on.
I’ve always really enjoyed racing at the Vuelta, it’s a tough race but a great opportunity for the whole team. I know that the level of competition will be incredibly high this year, but we've got a strong line up so we hope to be as competitive as possible.
I’m really pleased with how my recovery has gone since the Tour, I’ve been training hard and the support team are pleased with my progress. I'm a little bit light on racing days this year so getting a Grand Tour under my belt will not only help me now, but it will also help my preparation for next year. 
Going for the win will certainly be tough, but we’ll give it everything we’ve got."


Team Movistar 
Nairo Quintana:
"We've got two leaders and we will fight so the title stays within the team. The race will make things clear: should Alejandro do better, we will help him out, and if it's the other way around, the team as well as him will all race for me. The only important thing is seeing Movistar win, no matter if it's him or myself. We're team-mates, not rivals; this is a collective effort. It makes me really confident to have Alejandro by my side, plus such a strong squad. I'm coming here in good form - maybe not as good as I'd like, though. I only raced in Burgos after the Giro, and even though winning there was a nice boost of confidence, the beginning of the race might be a challenge for me, not having such a strong racing firm like others. I took sort of rest in Pamplona this week, yet I also did some intense training - however, the main work had been done in the months prior to the race, training in Colombia. We'll see how we feel from tomorrow on.
It's going to be one of the strongest Vueltas in years, with all big stageracing names in, and that makes the race even more important and attractive. As well as Alejandro, I think Joaquím Rodríguez will come into this race really well - he took the Tour as a training race and will surely have the legs here. I count Contador in: if he's come to the race, it's probably because he feels competitive. The same goes for Froome, who had the Tour written down as his biggest goal of the season and had to focus on the Vuelta after his abandon. Then, there are some youngsters that can do well. The route suits me well, but also does for the other favourites, since we all are pretty much accustomed to such mountains. I did a recon of some stages, but it won't be before the real racing when we know if it's a really good parcours for me or not. There will be a big competition between all of us: let's hope to bring some spectacle so the fans can enjoy."
Alejandro Valverde:
"I've got full motivation for this race, and also a great team around me. We've got Nairo, too, and we've got a good chance so the Movistar Team keeps the title. That's our goal for the race. Should I be able to snatch some stage victories, it will be much better, but the priority for us is the GC. After the Tour and San Sebastián I didn't enter any other competitions, but I think I recovered well after all efforts in July, with these three weeks of rest. I won't know how I really stand before the race itself - it will indeed tell us who our leader will be. I'm starting the race with the biggest expectations, but it's obvious that Nairo is a stronger guarantee for this race, as he could prepare for it better. Last year in the Tour, after misfortune with that mechanical, I already focused on helping him out, and if I had to do it again, it won't be difficult for me. I've spent 11 years keeping all pressure of leading a squad on my shoulders, and not having it also makes me happy. There won't be any problems with it - we two will get on.
I'm not thinking of the Worlds at this moment - it all depends on how the Vuelta goes for us: we don't know if I'll be contesting the win, helping Nairo out, fighting for stage wins... The same goes for the WorldTour ranking. Those are things you keep on your mind, but my only real goal at the moment is trying to win the Vuelta. The field of contenders is excellent. Purito comes in good form after preparing himself in the Tour, Nairo is also doing well, Froome and Alberto are willing to do well after suffering those crashes in the Tour... The organisers have gone for a spectacular route, an exciting one, and that's always good for cycling. The last week will be especially hard and any day could decide the GC, but you can't save energy for it: there are important stages right from the start. To be honest, there's no place like the Vuelta: I feel really comfortable here and enjoy bike racing like in no other place."

Team Tinkoff-saxo DS Steven de Jongh:
“We have a strong team here and our riders are in good shape. We’re very happy to have Alberto here at the Vuelta. It’s important that he’s back on his bike and together with the team as quickly as possible. He can be very important in the second part of the race and our team tactics and ambitions will of course depend on how his shape develops. 
We will go for stage wins in the first part of the race, while avoiding that Alberto loses time. If he’s feeling strong and he’s still in contention for the GC in the second part of the Vuelta, we’ll decide what we’ll do from there. The most important fact is that we have a strong group of riders that are ready to be visible in the race and that they know we have to create or own opportunities.
We’re able to participate in the final sprints with Daniele Bennati and we certainly have riders, who are able to go in the long breakaways. In terms of the GC, we’ll have to wait and see. But we will use the same approach as we did during the second part of the Tour, which I believe was very successful.
This time in the Vuelta the main goal will be stage wins. We will race a three-week race as single day races. On one hand we have a really strong team for the TTT with Fabian, Jesse, Kristof and Bob, and we hope to be fighting for the win. These guys can also fight to be in breaks and also target the two individual time trials.
On the other side we have Julián and we know how he can do in the uphill finishes - especially in the second week, but on the sixth day is one that’s already good for him. I have checked out all the uphill finishes, and have videoed them all.  We know that he is not starting the Vuelta in his maximum form, but we also know that even like this he will be strong in the first part, and even be better by the second part.”

TFR team trainer and DS Josu Larrazabal: 
“When you do the Tour [de France] full gas everyday like Haimar did, you need to be careful about the last week of the Vuelta. But Haimar has experience, he has the ability and condition, his training between the Tour and Vuelta has gone very well, and he will try. I am really confident he can do a really good race, but knowing what he did at the Tour we are not putting any pressure on him. He can take it day by day. 
For Bob, it is his second year at WorldTour level, and although it will be a good learning and growing experience for the future, we already can expect good results from him. For Jasper it is his first year on the WorldTour, so for him it will be about learning and gaining experience. But we also know his talent, and he can make a surprise, but we don’t put any pressure on him.”
DS Adriano Baffi:
“Honestly, I believe we can do better than we did at the Giro [d’Italia]. In the Giro everything went well for us, and I believe in Spain we will have the same focus, and the same team spirit, and so why not even better results? We have brought riders here who already have a victory this year, and other’s who are knocking on the door. We must fight every day to find a result in every stage. That is our medium.”

Team Qhubeka DS  Jens Zemke
"If we have one goal for the Vuelta it will be to ride in such a way that we are very visible and we need to stay in the minds of the spectators so they can understand who we are and what our team is about. We need them to say MTN, yes they did a great job. We don’t have somebody that can win the Vuelta so we have to take every little opportunity that comes our way. That can be looking for a stage result, maybe taking a jersey, looking for a good GC spot, going in all the breaks, everything. We really have to go for everything.
The first week will be very important and dangerous. It is the only stages for the real sprinters and everybody is fresh and in a good shape so they will all fight for a good result. I also i know that the region we are in, the wind will play a big role in the first week and so all the GC riders will be fighting for a good position along with the sprinters and it will be super nervous.
Gerald is our clear leader for the sprints. He has proven he can win the big races and he also has a stage win in the Vuelta in his palmares. The other thing is we also don’t have a lead out like the other teams but for us the thing is to deliver Gerald onto a good wheel and this we have to do well by being prepared. We will not have many chances so we have to get this right pretty soon.

As far as the GC goes, Sergio is our rider that can possibly do something and the younger riders like Louis and Merhawi know what their role is. It is too early for these young guys to fight for every second over 3 weeks but they will certainly get their chance when we say yes, today is your day and you can go for it."

BMC Racing Team DS Valerio Piva: 
"Sánchez will be the team's leader. Cadel will also be a protected rider, like we did for Samuel at the Giro d'Italia. "Samuel is an experienced rider, he knows the parcours and he is super motivated. Cadel comes out of Utah very strong, which will be very important. And we cannot forget Philippe Gilbert, who specializes in the uphill finishes. So we will try to win a stage with him."

OPQS Sport & Development Manager Rolf Aldag:
“The team is built up around Rigoberto Uran, who will get full support from his teammates. During the Giro d’Italia Rigoberto proved he has the skills for the major tours, so he deserves the support of the team. His approach to the race was similar to the one set in motion for the Giro d’Italia. Some of the guys from the team like Wout Poels, Gianluca Brambilla, and Pieter Serry already have experience in major tours next to Uran. Backing them up, the squad will be able to count on Carlos Verona, akin his debut in his first big tour, and also Martin Velits and Nikolas Maes. These three riders are all guarantees in terms of team support and rapport. The squad will be completed by Tom Boonen and Tony Martin. Tom's leadership will be an important figure in the flat stages and in bunch sprint arrivals in which we want to stand out with his dashes. La Vuelta will also be important for him as he prepares for the Worlds. Tony will make La Vuelta an important part of his World Championship build up. He will target the opening team time trial and the long individual time trial to test his shape. In the other stages he will serve as support in the overall team strategy. In general the team is well balanced, with riders who will be able to support Uran in every racing situation. " 

Team Belkin DS Nico Verhoeven:
"We'll take Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman and Laurens ten Dam to Spain, it’s clear our target is the overall. Wilco has trained at altitude in Utah. In the Tour of Utah, he showed well. Robert has also trained in the United States and we saw him do well in the Tour of Poland. They are our first two leaders. Laurens ten Dam had a good Tour. As with Steven Kruijswijk in the Tour, we won’t let him do the dirty work in the Vuelta and burn him up unnecessarily. I don’t like to talk results when it comes to our ambitions. We'll strive for the best possible place in the strong field that will be lining up for the Vuelta.
Moreno Hofland is a rider who’s developing. He has won a few big races, a stage in Paris-Nice for example, but a grand tour is different. It will undoubtedly make him stronger and he’ll be benefiting from it next year. There are a few interesting stages for him where he can fight for the win, for example with John Degenkolb.”
Robert Gesink: 
“Because of the long stages and the long travels, Poland turned out to be a heavy week. I was able to work on my intensity there and that’s important. To extend the benefits of my training camp, I’ll sleep in my altitude tent a few times this week.  Moreover, I have done some time trial training sessions as the race begins with an important team time trial. For me, of course the GC is what matters, but I also hope to gain some confidence so that I’m ready to have a normal season again next year. In the past, I did well in the Vuelta, both in stages and in the overall. I hope to get to that level again. So many things are possible then.” 
Wilco Kelderman: 
“That was the perfect preparation. I’m confident. I wasn’t expecting to win in Utah, I was hoping to improve, especially in the final stages, and that’s what happened. I was able to fight with the best riders in the race. It was unfortunate that I didn’t manage to win a stage.
This year’s Giro was my first grand tour as a leader, and that’s going to help me in Spain. For example, I now know better how to save energy and how to be a leader. We’ll start the Vuelta with a good team. A lot of good riders will be at the start, but I won’t be putting too much pressure on myself. I'll only think about my own performance, aim for a good overall and see how far I get. That always works well for me.”
Laurens ten Dam
“I have done more in between races this time than two years ago. San Sebastian and London went well. I hope I can improve during the Vuelta. On the sixth day, we will face the first uphill finish. Just as in the Tour, I want to take stock on the first rest day. I’m really looking forward to the Vuelta, I’ve already spotted a few nice mountain top finishes.”  

ORICA-GE DS Neil Stephens:
“This year we are going in with a multi-task team. There have been times when we have just targeted stages with one or a couple of riders but this year the whole team is basically all opportunists. I think that anyone who looks at our line up for the Tour of Spain will see that there are some great standout stage winners there and we will be trying to give some attention to the general classification with Esteban Chaves too."

Team Giant-Shimano coach Christian Guiberteau:
“We head into the Vuelta with two real objectives, firstly to help support Warren towards a good overall result in the race.
In this we will also help both Warren develop as a leader and also some of the other younger riders in the team to progress in working every day for an overall goal.
As well as this we want to target a sprint win but the opportunities for this outcome are few and far between. With John, together with others, we have good options for these stages. The team will be built around aiming for these objectives while at the same time focusing on the development that you get from riding a Grand Tour.”
Warren Barguil: 
“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. We have a strong team here and I hope that I can progress and prove myself.”

Team Cannondale DS Mario Scirea:
“The riders we selected offer us the chance to be really competitive almost everywhere. Sagan, De Marchi and Caruso are three leaders and top riders, but I think the entire team is solid and strong. Even if the Vuelta is the last grand tour, it’s a very hard competition and we’re ready to play our role. We’ll try to make our race all the times we’ll have the chances. We want to leave a strong mark on the race.”

Team Astana DS Dmitriy Sedoun:
“Aru and Kangert are two proven GC riders – Fabio this year was third at the Giro with a Queen Stage victory in the mountains and Tanel has done outstanding work for Nibali over the past two seasons.
Guardini, Guarnieri and Lutsenko have the beginnings of a very fast and very strong sprint team – in Denmark Alexey and Andrea were victorious partners, and with Jacopo we have the legs to be at the front in a Grand Tour finish. 
Landa is super motivated for a good result – after a great climb on ST3 at the Vuelta a Burgos, despite a heavy crash at the beginning of the day, he showed what a promising young Spanish rider is capable of at home.
Fominykh has shown in the past season that he can race on different courses in different conditions – this Vuelta will be his first test at three weeks of competition, and he has all of the requisites and characteristics to succeed. 
Tiralongo and Zeits are the veteran legs and brains on the road – their experience is invaluable and their leadership is 100 percent guaranteed."

Team Lotto-Belisol
Maxime Monfort: 
"'A result as good as possible', that is the phrase I want to use. Everyone expected me to be in the top ten in the in the Giro, but due to the race conditions that was not possible. The participants in this Vuelta are the strongest in years. But usually the Vuelta suits me better than the Giro. Lotto Belisol is at the starting grid with a strong team with amongst others Jurgen Van den Broeck and Bart De Clercq, and September suits me also more than May. Also the stages are shorter in the Vuelta compared to the Giro. About Jurgen and I aiming for the same goal? I don't see the problem in that. Jurgen starts in this Vuelta with another attitude than he had in the Tour. If it turns out we're both good, we can certainly benefit from that. I went true this already with Jakob Fuglsang with RadioShack, and that also worked out."
Jens Debusschere:
"If I go for a stage win? I already got that question before but it's not that simple. The level in the Vuelta is of course higher than in the Tour of Wallonia. And with among others Bouhanni, Degenkolb and Sagan, the contesters are strong. But I dream about it. I start in Spain with clear goal and that is to show myself in the four of five upcoming bunch sprints. Since the Belgian Championships I started training to improve my sprinting speed. The team doesn't puts pressure on me, but shows confidence. For the first time I can go my own way in a grand tour and test my limits. Before the season started the Tour of Spain was already programmed in my scheme, but now there is a clear goal too. I gained a lot of experience in the sprinting train of Greipel and guys like Henderson and Ligthart will certainly stand by my side."

IAM Cycling DS Mario Chies:
“We have studied the course which consists of five flat days versus 13 mountainous days and three time trials.  For the team time trial, we are going in with the notion of doing the absolute best time we possibly can, even though we know we do not have a rider capable of taking a place in the top-10.  We will thereafter aim for stages and we will be thrilled if we could win a stage, perhaps with Pelucchi in the sprints or with one the guys like Reynes, Saramotins, Hinault in the other punchier stages.  And why not see whether we can put Johann Tschopp in the position of fighting for the best climber’s jersey.
The Vuelta is less stressful than the Tour de France.  We work hard so that everything can go well.  The 15 day camp at altitude in the Bernina range worked well for everyone and the subsequent victories by Pelucchi and Saramotins at the Vuelta a Burgos provided a great confirmation.  The heat will be a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked, but my biggest concern is the chance for precipitation.  If rain does hit the Vuelta, it will be very important to be careful since the roads will quickly be transformed into skating rinks.”

Team Europcar DS Andy Flickinger: 
“Romain Sicard will be leader for the general classification.Then we have Jimmy Engoulvent as road captain. He’s an experienced rider, who can deliver both on sprints and on battling, “baroudeur”, breakaway stages, and is above all capable of influencing the group. Maxime Médérel and Natnael Berhane will be there to give Romain Sicard a lift in the mountains. Then there are three more “baroudeurs” breakaway specialists: Jérôme Cousin, Vincent Jérôme and Bryan Nauleau. Yannick Martinez can also work the breakaways, as well as showing well in the sprints. Finally Dan Craven will be a revelation: a new rider to the team, but still a rider with experience who will be relishing his first major tour. We have plenty of cards to play in this Tour of Spain…
The first objective for the team is a stage victory. We also hope to place well in the general classification with Romain Sicard, who showed on the Giro and Tour de l’Ain recently that he is in very good physical condition and can hope to compete with the best. That’s certainly our hope, in view of his future development.
There are several major tour first-timers on the roster: Dan Craven, Natnael Berhane, Yannick Martinez and Bryan Nauleau, who is only in his first year as a professional, even if he does seem to offer a technical and physical package way above that of a new pro. 
It’s not an easy thing, facing up to a first big tour and three weeks of racing. Bryan Nauleau, Natnael Berhane and Yannick Martinez may already have raced the ten day Tour de Langkawi, but it won’t be easy to shift up to the next gear. It’s about self-discovery. They’re a little tense, which is normal; they’re not quite sure what they’re getting into. I think you have to do a first big tour before being convinced that you can finish it. It comes naturally… 
It’s the first time Romain has been named leader of a group, so for us a top 20 classification would already be good. To be active on the mountain stages, to try for a stage victory, that’s the most important. For Team Europcar I believe it’s crucial to have a leader for the general classification; it helps concentrate and motivate everyone towards the same target."

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