|photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2017|
"The truth is it has been a very, very special day. I think it’s very difficult to say good bye in a better way than this, in this place, in this event. In the end, it's a full stop at the end of a career in which I have done everything I wanted. I think it's been a beautiful Vuelta even though I am not on the podium. But perhaps if I had been in contention for the overall podium I would have ridden in a different way, more conservative, and instead I have ridden the race I have ridden - I look at the photos, and almost every day there are pictures of me alone because I have been on the attack.
I knew it was going to be a very special day, the road full of people and everyone watching the stage, and I set the goal for myself of winning on the Angliru. This morning I wanted to win, and when I crossed the line, I thought to myself: goal completed. In the end, we couldn't take the podium, but this is not what's important. What's important is to take the victory of the stage and finish with this result for the rest of my life.
I spoke with teammates ahead yesterday and said that tomorrow could be one day for the history. They gave 100% to control the first part of the race. All the riders helped me, and especially Pantano for the descent of the Cordal. We started the Angliru with some seconds to the rivals, and then I knew it was my time and I needed to give the maximum until the top and try to win.
Today's attack was different because it was an attack on the descent. It's unusual in the history of cycling for this on a dangerous descent, but Jarlinson attacked, and I went with him.
I have been able to enjoy the affection of all the people who say thank you to me. It's been a remarkable month, unforgettable. I think in the future it'll be remembered that in my last day of competition, I finished it with a win."