In His Own Words: Neil Stephens on Vuelta a EspaÃ±a Stage 9Mon 27 Aug 2012
It was a fairly quiet day for ORICA-GreenEDGE in Barcelona ahead of the first rest day of the Vuelta a España. Philippe Gilbert (BMC) took the stage win ahead of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). The duo broke clear of the pack on the third category Montjuic, four kilometers from the finish. Sports Director Neil Stephens checks in following stage nine.
Today was a hard stage to go up for the race win. We looked to Allan Davis as our main option. Once again, the team rode hard and worked well together. We got off on the right start and carried good momentum heading into the finish. The big guns started firing in the closing kilometers, and we weren’t able to go with them. It wasn’t a remarkable day. It definitely wasn’t a bad day either. It’s one more day to check off the list.
With the first week of racing done, we face a long transfer tonight before the rest day tomorrow. It’s clear that we’re on our way to more good things here in Spain. Quite obviously our stage win with Simon Clarke was the highlight of our first week.
Other moments stand out as well. Cameron Meyer did a massive effort yesterday to get in the breakaway and attack in the finish. We’ve be around the mark several times with Allan Davis in the sprint finishes.
More than our results, I’m pleased with our work environment. Everyone on this team is willing to put out everything for their teammates. This is the most positive thing to me during our successful week. The boys are fired up for two more weeks of racing in Spain.