Vuelta a Espaņa - Wiggins: I can still win this Vuelta

Mon, 05 Sep 15:24:00 2011

Bradley Wiggins is not yet willing to admit defeat in the Vuelta despite losing the lead, the Team Sky rider said on Monday.

Team Sky rider Bradley Wiggins of Britain (R) and Geox TMC rider Denis Menchov of Russia cycle during the 15th stage of the Tour of Spain

"There are tough stages ahead and the gaps are minimal," Wiggins said after losing the leader's jersey to Spain's Juan Jose Cobo on Sunday.

"Once we've had a rest, we'll regroup and there are always opportunities," Wiggins, who lies third behind team mate Chris Froome, said on Monday's rest day.

"Chris is only at 20 seconds; he (Cobo) can't think he's just got it in the bag."

Wiggins said that on the Angliru, widely rated as the hardest climb in Spain, stage winner Cobo had proved unbeatable on Sunday.

"He took it apart singlehandedly and what's made it even worse was that we knew he could do that.

"Me and Chris decided to look out for each other, but on a climb like yesterday it was every man for himself. We had to time trial it all the way to the top and that's essentially what we did.

"Everybody was at 100 per cent, everybody was giving it as much as they could."

Wiggins, 46 seconds behind Cobo in the overall standings, said the race had proved tough so far.

"It's been as hard as any other Grand Tour I've ever done, even harder than the Giro," the 31-year-old Briton said.

"It's made for a good spectacle, but it's been very challenging."

Froome, who has one professional win to his name, said: "Doing so well here has been overwhelming, but I'm getting used to it.

"I've realised over the last week this hasn't been a flash in the pan or lucky result, in fact I can support top...riders and be up there myself."

The race resumes on Tuesday with a 203-km flat stage from La Olmeda to Haro and finishes on Sunday in Madrid.



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