Tour of Spain leader Anton keeps lid on race ambitions
Tarragona: If Tour of Spain race leader Igor Anton has ambitions of winning the race outright, he is doing a very good job of hiding them.
The Spaniard has said he is more than content with his win on stage four of the race and would have no problem if he had to pull out tomorrow.
“I came here for a stage win and I’ve already got that,” the Euskaltel-Euskadi climber told a rest-day news conference on Monday.
“Everything else apart from that, including the overall lead, is a bonus.
“If I lost the lead tomorrow and had to quit, I wouldn’t be unhappy.
“I won’t be making a real decision about how high up the overall classification I want to finish until the final week,” added the 27-year-old who said the coming mountain stages suited him.
Tied on time with Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez in the overall standings, Anton is the leader because of better placings on stages.
“It’s difficult to take and in fact it was a real surprise that I got this leader’s jersey,” said Anton who has never topped the classification in such a high-profile event.
“But it’s the kind of opportunity I just couldn’t let go by.
Apart from Team Katusha’s Rodriguez, Anton named double Tour of Spain winner Denis Menchov as a key rival. The Russian is 20th overall, three minutes and 29 seconds behind the top pair after nine stages.
“He’s lost a bit of time, but Menchov has a way of bouncing back when you least expect it. He’s not finished, for sure,” Anton said.
The Tour of Spain gets underway again on Tuesday with a 175.7-km stage from Tarragona to Vilanova la Geltru. The race finishes in Madrid on September 19.