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MAÑÓN, Spain (VN) — American Ian Boswell (Katusha-Alpecin) is not letting a stage 4 crash stop him from completing his grand tour double and perhaps taking a stage win in the Vuelta a España.
Ben King already did so twice in this race, so Boswell could give the U.S. another win on Spanish soil. He only needs to recover from an early form-zapping crash.
“My elbow is still pretty sore, especially on the rough roads,” Boswell told VeloNews. “On stage 6 or 7, I was alone for 70km, you are hurting and you are off the back and burning more energy, it snowballs. But I’m still here. I had plenty of opportunities to go home, but I didn’t.”
Boswell comes to the Vuelta after making his debut in the Tour de France, and in both races he has raced alongside his team captain Ilnur Zakarin.
“It’s the first time I’ve done two grand tours back to back. In 2016, I had the Giro and Vuelta with a nice break in between. It was on my program since the start of the year,” he added.
“The most frustrating [thing], I came here thinking I had pretty good form, carrying it from the Tour and to leave it on the side of the road with that crash has been frustrating.”
Boswell fell in the team car caravan after receiving some mechanical assistance. For Boswell to still be in the race is a victory, since at a couple of points he looked as though he would abandon.
“Now, he and the team all have chances for stage wins,” general manager José Azevedo said. “Ian lost a lot of energy in sleepless nights and trying to recover, but we think he can get his chance.”
The Vuelta has been good to Boswell. He debuted in grand tours on Spanish roads in 2015. That year, in Team Sky colors, he raced to third in one of the toughest stages in Andorra.
“It’s my third Vuelta, I enjoy it, especially coming off the Tour, which is such a scrum of media and attention. This is just a far different environment,” continued Boswell.
“Without any GC aspirations, we are all free to go into breaks, but it’s just a matter of looking after myself and making sure I pick a day when I feel good again.
“Originally, I was hoping this weekend [in Asturias] I’d be up for. We will see, any day that I feel up for it.”
He thought back to his third-place finish behind Mikel Landa and Fabio Aru in 2015 and the mountain stages in Andorra ending this 2018 Vuelta. He added, “In Andorra, stage 20. We’ll see about that.”