Robert Kiserlovski misses out again from breakaway in debut Tour de France
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Friday, July 13, 2012

Robert Kiserlovski misses out again from breakaway in debut Tour de France

by Ben Atkins at 4:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Team Astana continues to dominate mountains classification as Croatian picks up the day’s big points

robert kiserlovskiAstana’s Robert Kiserlovski came close to a breakaway stage victory for the second straight day in the twelfth stage between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Annonay-Davézieux. The only Croatian in the race, riding his debut Tour de France, has been one of the most consistently attacking riders in recent days, and received the “Prix de la Combativité” prize at the end of today’s stage as a consolation.

His efforts on the previous day however, when he was unable to stay with the uphill pace of Europcar’s Pierre Rolland on the climb to La Toussuire, may have cost him on the final rise to today’s finish line. He was ultimately unable to follow the late move from AG2R La Mondiale’s Jean-Christophe Péraud and eventual stage winner David Millar (Garmin-Sharp), and could only finish third in the three-man sprint that followed them to take fifth.

"Today was hard and this is not an easy prize to win,” said Kiserlovski after the stage. “It is the third time I have been involved in a breakaway and I was paying for it a little. I also got a flat just a few kilometres from the end and my legs are tired.

“With races like this I prefer there to be a climb at the end, but I am satisfied in any case,” he added. “I want to succeed in winning a stage and there are still three good opportunities for me to do so."

As well as the aggressive rider award, Kiserlovski also managed to keep his team’s prize fund ticking over with victory in both the 1st category Cols du Grand Cucheron and Granier, as well as the 3rd category Côte d’Ardoix. This not only lifted himself up to fourth in the classification but, most importantly, helped to protect Astana teammate Frederik Kessiakoff’s hold on the polka-dot jersey.

"I am happy, since I have kept hold of the polka dot jersey," said Kessiakoff. “Plus, Kiserlovski managed to get a few points even if his companions in the breakaway were not among the leaders in the climbers’ classification.

“There was no danger for me today,” he added. “I kept a close eye on the riders who are near me in the classification and I am still wearing the jersey!"

For team manager Giuseppe Martinelli however, Kiserlovski’s near-miss was another disappointment in a Tour de France that his Astana team has yet to really shine in.

“I am really sorry that we can't manage to win a stage; we always come so close,” he said. “I want to praise the lads for their courage and the fact that they have a go every day. When you are out in front you have the chance to claim victory, but unfortunately it just hasn't happened.

“We will win a stage in the end!” he added defiantly. “In addition, Brajkovič is still in [eighth] place overall and can still target a high final position.”

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