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Vuelta a Espana

Vuelta: Boswell enjoying life by Froome’s side

The Vuelta a España is Ian Boswell's second grand tour of the season and the third of his career, and he's enjoying every minute of it.

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VIVEIRO, Spain (VN) — Ian Boswell is happily taking a new step into the unknown at this Vuelta a España, riding his second grand tour of the year and doing so to help Sky teammate Chris Froome win.

After a trip home to the U.S., where he enjoyed the occasional hamburger and beer, Sky boss David Brailsford called to say he needed his help in the Spanish grand tour. The British WorldTour team obviously thought that Boswell’s grand tour debut went well last year in the Vuelta and appreciated his work in the Giro d’Italia this May, where he rode in support of leader Mikel Landa and helped Mikel Nieve win a stage and the blue mountains jersey.

“I wasn’t really even planning on doing it, it wasn’t part of the plan, but I’m really happy to be here,” Boswell said at the start line of Tuesday’s stage 4.

“After the U.S. and a break, I am back physically and mentally fresh. I wasn’t broken down at all, but coming back, I’m excited to be racing. I had a good time back home and now I’m enjoying racing.”

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When Froome is pulled right and left by fans or journalists, Boswell often stands nearby smiling and laughing as if riding a three-week Tour is as easy as a weekend criterium in his home state of Oregon. Instead, serious rivals like Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) are out for Froome’s blood and will strike at any moment the three-time Tour de France winner shows a weakness. Boswell has to be switched on or else.

“In the Giro, we had Mikel Landa, but with Froome, he’s a clear leader and wants us to ride a distinct style because he knows that he has a chance to win,” Boswell said.

“I enjoy the way we ride. It’s typical team Sky, we just ride on the front and the last two days, we had the red jersey so of course, we were on the front from the beginning. It’s a much more controlled style. We don’t have the red jersey now, but still we will ride a very controlled style and we ride as a unit.”

Boswell is convinced Froome can become one of the few to win the Tour/Vuelta double based on what he has seen so far in the first four days of the race.

“It was impressive in the team time trial with everyone committed and we won the race,” Boswell said. “With Chris, we come here with a real distinct goal and everyone buys into it. We weren’t really sure on how he’d go, but after seeing him in the team time trial and in stage 3 [with the 30 percent pitches of Mirador de Ézaro], everyone knows he has the fitness to win this.”

The peloton started to move forward for the start of stage 4 just as Boswell began to underline how happy he is to be riding this grand tour. Three seconds later, he clipped in and sped away.

“Hell yeah, I am happy to be here,” he wrote in a message later after the stage. “10 years ago, I was a kid who fell in love with cycling. Now, I am racing alongside a three-time Tour champion, world champion, multiple national champions, and an Olympic medalist. And to think back then, I was racing OBRA [the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association] thinking I was doing well.”