Tom Danielson (Garmin-Transitions) made it through Tuesday’s potentially explosive 10th stage to maintain his options for a strong overall result at the Vuelta a España.
Danielson hit the midway point through the 2010 Vuelta is solid position, settling into 15th overall at 1:54 back.
“I’ve done the best I can. I am not real explosive on those short finishes. I’ve struggled a little bit, not quite (with the) fastest guys on the short finishes, but close to the GC guys,” Danielson said. “I hope to really come alive in the second part of this Vuelta.”
So far this year, Danielson’s Vuelta has gone to script. He’s been able to stay in contention throughout a string of explosive and short uphill finishes that favor the likes of Igor Antón and new leader Joaquim Rodríguez.
With the Vuelta heading into the Pyrénées Wednesday for the first summit finish of this year’s edition, Danielson is optimistic he can hit his stride as the Vuelta turns into the more difficult portion of the route.
“Those Asturias stages (in northern Spain) I am really excited about and the 50km time trial, so we’ll see,” he said. “I want to do the best Vuelta I can.”
Danielson has twice finished in the top 10 at the Vuelta (seventh in 2005, sixth in 2006 with a stage win) and was riding strong last year until he was struck with a bad stomach bug and eventually abandoned.
With an improved time trial — last year he won the individual time trial at the Vuelta a Burgos in August to end up third overall — Danielson isn’t setting any limits on how far he can go in this Vuelta.
And, as a recent father, Danielson says he has an extra motivation to dig ever deeper than before.
“I just had a baby, Stephen, he’s five months old — I always dream big, I’d really like to get him on the podium in the end,” he said. “I’m really shooting for that.”
Garmin-Transitions sport director Johnny Weltz said the team is ready for more success in the second half of the Vuelta. The team won an important stage victory with Tyler Farrar in the first week and there should be even more opportunities for Farrar in the sprints.
“We have been through nine stages of hard racing and extremely hot weather, but we still have our options for the GC and for a stage win,” Weltz said on the team’s web page. “Luckily, we have several of our riders recovered and stronger than when we started, so we are ready to confront the high mountains that await us in this second week of racing.”