RIDER REACTION: 2018 Vuelta a Espana

Sun 16 Sep 2018

As we sign-off on a dream month of racing at the Vuelta a Espana, we get the reactions from all eight of our winning riders:

Simon Yates:
“It feels great. Really unbelievable, I think it’s still sinking in. I have no words, it’s just really unbelievable. I like to race on my instinct and I hope that I continue to do so and achieve more big results like today at the Vuelta a Espana."

“The day I won on stage 14 is probably my favourite moment from the race, getting your hands in the air, there’s no feeling like winning a bike race and that will hold a special place, but also the first stage in Andorra.

“That was the first day I laid everything on the line to try and win this race and I managed to get a bit of a gap and you start to believe that you may have it, so those two days really stand out for me.

“I came back from real heartbreak from the Giro d’Italia and I am still in shock that I’ve managed to pull it off and it will take a while for it to sink in just what we’ve accomplished. I get really nervous up on the stage, but it was a very special moment that I will cherish forever.” 

Michael Albasini:
“It’s the first Grand Tour I can win with the team and it’s the first in my career, not only in this team, but in any team. 

“It’s actually amazing looking back. It started back in 2012 as a sprinter’s team and then changed step-by-step to become a general classification team now. And of course, GC teams want to win Grand Tours and now we are where we want to be.

“I’m happy to be here when it happened, I have been here from the start of the team to now so it’s really special. 

The month was actually really quiet. Usually there is more stress, but we were never in real trouble, things went as they should have gone. Of course, it’s easy to say when you have a leader like Simon, who is strong and makes everyone else feel confident. 

Alex Edmondson:
“It hasn’t really sunk it. Obviously from the Giro last year I had a bit of a heads up, but coming here I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I was going to need to do.

To be sitting here with a red jersey within the team in Madrid is something that is going to stick with me for a long time.

I have go so much out of the learning experience. I have been able to learn so much, not just on the bike, but off the bike too. So many things, small things, that are going to hopefully play a huge part in my development.” 

Jack Haig:
“It’s really special for me, especially after doing the Giro with Simon and getting so close there.  Being about to come here and, in some ways, finish the work we were doing there.

“I haven’t been with the team since the beginning, but I can imagine it’s pretty special for Gerry and the staff and riders who have been here from day one.

“It means a lot to be involved, having seen the Yatesy’s when I was a neo-pro and they had turned pro a year or two before me, and seeing them develop into what they are now.

Damien Howson:
“I have been fortunate to be involved in many of the team’s different successes, particularly in Grand Tours, but this Vuelta will forever remain a highlight of my career.

“The team was so determined to achieve one outcome in complete collaboration on and off the bike, and it is something we can all be very proud of. 

“As for Simon, his clarity, racing mind and ability to finish it off was incredible and makes it easy to believe in a leader like him and give your all.” 

Luka Mezgec:
“To be a part of winning Grand Tour team is definitely something special. We all worked hard for this and Simon is such a pure-class to finished it off like he did on those important stages. 

“This sets our team on a new level, where we know it’s possible, and there is more coming without a doubt. I’m proud to be part of this family.” 

Matteo Trentin:
“It has been a month full of great things! For me, it was a completely new experience racing for a Grand Tour overall victory. I have always raced for victory in one-day races but never for a Grand Tour. It’s just fantastic to finish it off with Simon in the red jersey in Madrid. 

“We rocked it from day one and I think we deserve this 100%.” 

Adam Yates:
“We have all had a really strong Vuelta. We had three or four guys that aren’t climbers here but they were constantly on the front and making it over the climbs and it was a really good job by everyone.

“We held a bit back for this third week and it worked out pretty well, didn’t it.”

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.