Frederik Veuchelen hunting polka dots in Paris-Nice
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Frederik Veuchelen hunting polka dots in Paris-Nice

by Kyle Moore at 7:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Vacansoleil-DCM attacker trying to secure mountains classification

Frederik VeuchelenFrederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil-DCM) has for two days in a row exhibited the qualities that his team has become known for, most notably a constantly attacking and relentless riding style.

The 33-year-old Belgian used attacks on successive days to build a 35-point lead over Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) and David Lelay (Saur-Sojasun) in the Paris-Nice points classification. He took maximum points on four of the five categorized climbs during Friday’s stage six, and was only forced to concede the points on the final climb due to the accelerations made by Jens Voigt (Radioshack-Nissan) and eventual stage winner Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank).

With more than double the mountain points of his nearest rivals, Veuchelen has his sights set on taking the polka dot jersey to Nice on Sunday. The Belgian hadn’t planned on getting into the breakaway for a second day in a row, but some good legs pushed him to make the move.

“It wasn’t my intention to go on the attack on stage six,” Veuchelen said according to Het Nieuwsblad. “After my raid on Thursday, I didn’t think I would have the legs. But it was an incredibly smooth first hour, much better than I expected.

“When the pack with the leaders almost managed to bring us back [as the break was trying to get away], Jens Voigt attacked. Because I still felt good, I went along, knowing that [following] the German is ideal for a long escape.”

A winner of just one race in his career – the Dwars door Vlaanderen in 2006 – Veuchelen is trying to capitalize on good early season condition. He was sixth overall in Etoile de Bessèges after taking fourth in the individual time trial.

After joining Vacansoleil in its first season in 2009, Veuchelen finds himself looking out for his own jersey while still looking to help team-mate Lieuwe Westra, also an original member of Vacansoleil and working with some great form of his own, sitting second overall.

“I hope I can take home the polka dot jersey,” Veuchelen added. “But I’m waiting on the orders from the team, because don’t forget, we’re looking to finish with Westra benefitting.”

With four categorized climbs on Saturday’s stage seven, and with Westra’s position to defend, the Dutch team will have to play its cards wisely with two days to race.


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