Leipheimer pleased with third place in Paris-Nice’s opening stage
  July 07, 2020 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Leipheimer pleased with third place in Paris-Nice’s opening stage

by Kyle Moore at 11:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
Vows that team ambition is still Tony Martin for the GC

Levi LeipheimerWith the opening time trial stage of Paris-Nice divided into two different parts – pre-rain and post-rain – Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) came out second best in the pre-rain portion, and third best overall behind winner Gustav Erik Larsson (Vacansoleil-DCM) and runner-up Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling).

Competing on rain-slickened roads, it was perhaps Wiggins who was most impressive, coming within a second of Larsson’s time, which was turned before the rains came down. But Leipheimer was nearly as good, finishing three seconds behind the Brit in his first race since his overall victory in the Tour de San Luis on January 29.

“I’m happy about my race even if it was a while since I raced,” Leipheimer stated. “Normally after a couple races I will be better. In any case, I’m among the best today, not far from the victory. The parcours was really fast and the climb at the beginning was really like a shock to the system.”

While the American veteran was riding well, team-mate Tony Martin’s title defense did not get off to a good start. On wet roads, the world time trial champion could only muster 28th, 25 seconds off Larsson’s pace. Martin didn’t blame wet roads, and instead noted a lack of power in the engine room.

“I had bad legs right from the start," Martin said. “I couldn't feel good and I don't know why. I did everything - I had a good warm up and I was motivated but I wasn't able to do the race I was expecting to do. It was just a bad day. I wanted to fight for the stage but every race is different, and I have to accept it.

“In the descent I couldn't set my power. If you can't go full gas you start thinking that maybe it is better to avoid risks. For sure I lost some seconds on the descent but it can't be an excuse. In any case I will fight in the coming days. Everything is still possible in a race such as Paris-Nice.”

Though he currently sits in third place and has a stage race pedigree of his own, Leipheimer insisted that the team would continue its focus on placing Martin in the general classification, while keeping everyone out of trouble.

“Now we go into the race. Paris-Nice is always dangerous,” Leipheimer added. “First of all I want to stay out of trouble and then help Tony to fight for the victory. Tony is the captain here, he has the number one on his back and we will try to put him in the best position in the GC before the last time trial.”


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC