Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins have used the Vuelta a Espana's second rest day as an opportunity to reflect on what happened on the Angliru, get some welcome recovery time. The third part of the Tour of Spain starts tomorrow, but thinking about that is not their top priority.
The climb was so steep, Froome revealed, that they used 38x32 "because it was assymetric gearing, and they could definitely have been a bit smaller for me."
"But even when you hit those gradients, over 23 percent, it didn't feel that easy. We made the most of what we had, but a little bit more gearing and energy in the legs would have been good."
Neither he nor Wiggins had had a chance to look at the climb beforehand, "so that was a first. But the guys were definitely talking about that in the peloton. We all knew it would be the big climb of the Vuelta."
Froome got a little blocked in on the climb by motorbikes, but as he put it "it's hard for the bikes, I imagine, to keep upright at five kilometres an hour." Wiggins had a more difficult time, with a flag wrapping round his gear lever and threatening to pull him over. Fortunately, it didn't.
Looking back on their performance, Froome said "barring Cobo [stage winner and race leader] who rode oustandingly, it was actually a good day for us. We put time into all of the other gc riders."
"We knew Cobo was one of the biggest threats for us after the previous stage, we knew he was gong to try to make up time."
But to be honest, when he went, I thought even now we'd just try and pace him back slowly, but it didn't happen he kept on putting more and more time into us."
"We've been looking forward to the rest day, it's been a brutal race, and I don't think many of us have thought of the future in much detail," Wiggins added.
"You have to remind yourself that there's still six stages to go, and there's still some tough stages, the gaps are minimal."
"Today it's been the last thing on our minds, we're just enjoying riding relaxed and making the most of it."
"Once we really start thinking about it, we'll see there are opportunities."
Vuelta a Espana 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Vuelta a Espana 2011: Latest news
Sky uses rest day to regroup before final leg of Vuelta
Wiggins upbeat despite losing Vuelta lead on Angliru
Crunch time for Wiggins and Froome in Vuelta
Wiggins says he will give it 100 per cent to defend Vuelta lead
Vuelta tackles unknown mountain top finish today
Froome: "This lead is a big milestone"
Wiggins in Vuelta: "We're in an amazing position"
Dan Martin delighted with King of the Mountains jersey
Sky dominates in Vuelta a Espana
Martin delighted with first ever grand tour stage win
Wiggins: A fantastic finish
Interview: Wiggins looks ahead of crucial three days of Vuelta
Farrar taken to hospital after Vuelta crash
Arvesen quits Vuelta with crash injuries
Anton suffers again but Rodriguez becomes Spain's top contender
Wiggins pleased with strong ride in Spanish sierras
Cavendish abandons Vuelta a Espana
Vuelta a Espana 2011: Teams, riders, start list
Vuelta a Espana 2011: Who's riding?
Vuelta a Espana 2011 team list
Vuelta a Espana 2011
: Stage reports
Stage 15: Wiggins loses race lead as Cobo stakes claim for overall on Angliru
Stage 14: Taaramae takes stage as Wiggins puts time into rivals
Stage 13: Albasini wins Vuelta stage 13 as Wiggins hangs on to lead
Stage 12: Sagan takes second 2011 Vuelta stage win
Stage 11: Wiggins takes overall lead as Moncoutie wins stage
Stage 10: Brit Froome moves into overall Vuelta lead after time trial
Stage nine: Martin wins as Wiggins moves further up GC
Stage eight: Rodriguez wins again to take overall lead
Stage seven: Kittel wins chaotic bunch sprint
Stage six: Sagan takes Vuelta stage win in controversial circumstances
Stage five: Rodriguez takes second win for Katusha but Chavanel holds on
Stage four: Moreno wins first mountain skirmish at Sierra Nevada
Stage three: Lastras solos to stage and takes red jersey
Stage two: Sutton grabs stage win to set things right for Sky
Stage one: Leopard-Trek win opening TTT to put Fuglsang in front
Vuelta a Espana 2011: Photo galleries
By Graham Watson
Stage 13 photo gallery
Stage 12 photo gallery
Stage 11 photo gallery
Stage 10 photo gallery
Stage nine photo gallery
Stage eight photo gallery
Stage seven photo gallery
Stage six photo gallery
Stage five photo gallery
Stage four photo gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one photo gallery
Vuelta a Espana 2011: TV guide
Vuelta a Espana 2011: ITV4 TV schedule
Vuelta a Espana 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule
ITV to show 2011 Vuelta
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