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By Andrew Hood
Magnus Bäckstedt sees the Vuelta a España with very clear objectives: to take home a scalp. The 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner has suffered through a difficult season and is looking to the Vuelta for redemption. “I’m here for a stage win,” Bäckstedt told VeloNews. “I so want one now, after having a seriously shitty year, it’s all I can think about.” Bäckstedt helped motor his Liquigas troops to a ninth place finish in Saturday’s team time trial and said he feels good after the short, but intense effort in Málaga. “I felt good up at Holland [Eneco Tour], now if I have the legs I want to try to do something. We’ll just have to see if things go my way,” he said. “Who knows? I can do a breakaway and I can do the sprints as well. I want to give the sprints a try in the first few days and see what happens.” Bäckstedt said the team will split the responsibility between himself and Luca Paolini in the bunch sprints. “We’ll have to work it out between the two of us. Paolini is quick but he’s one of the guys who can bounce from wheel to wheel to get to position. I’m more of a straight in run at 75kph when I open my sprint, we’ll how things pan out,” he said. “Luckily, there are a few good teams here, with Milram here with a full lead-out team, so we’ll have to see how it goes.”