Blel Kadri happy in polka dots after Dauphiné breakaway
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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Blel Kadri happy in polka dots after Dauphiné breakaway

by Ben Atkins at 2:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
AG2R La Mondiale rider back on track after Paris-Nice shoulder blade and skull fractures

blel kadriAfter being on the attack for more than 100km of today’s second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, between Lamastre and Saint-Félicien, AG2R La Mondiale’s Blel Kadri was a little disappointed not to come away with a stage victory. By taking first place over all of the climbs that counted during the day however, the 25-year-old Frenchman came away with the white-on-red polka dot jersey for the leader in the mountains classification.

Kadri’s total of 36 points just eclipses that of Europcar’s Giovanni Bernadeau by one, while Bernadeau’s teammate Christophe Kern - who failed to stop Kadri taking first place over the Cols de Montivernoux, Clavière, Rochepaule and Lalouvesc - in third place.

“This distinctive jersey is one of the things you like to get when you are in a breakaway,” said Kadri after the presentation. “Of course, I would have preferred crossing the finish line in first but this jersey is a great reward.  I inevitably thought of victory when I was at the front of the race. I knew it would not be easy today but with riders like Christophe Kern and David Moncoutié [Cofidis], there was a possibility. We got on well with each other and we did our best.

“Unfortunately,  we didn’t succeed but I'm happy with what I did today,” he added. “When I saw the false flat descent and the unfavourable wind at the top of the penultimate climb, I knew it was going to be hard but we had to try."

The Dauphiné is Kadri’s first big race since crashing on the fifth stage of Paris-Nice, back in March, when he suffered a broken shoulder blade and a fractured skull. He made his return to racing in the smaller French stage races of the Tour de Picardie and Circuit de Lorraine so as to be on his best possible form for this event.

"The team put its confidence in me after my crash in Paris-Nice,” he explained. “I trained well at home and returned to competition in Picardie before taking part to the Circuit de Lorraine. This allowed me to quietly find my bearings in competition without much pressure.

“Then the team allowed me to stay at home to train in the mountains,” he continued. “It is through this that I arrived at this Criterium du Dauphiné not too tired, with the will to race and go in the breakaways. I am already at a good level and I hope that I will be better and better because my objective is to go in the Tour de France and to be successful there!

“I'm on the right way,” he added. “I have to continue to work here to get to the top for the Tour de France.”

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