Vande Velde says Garmin-Sharp will keep trying for another stage win
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vande Velde says Garmin-Sharp will keep trying for another stage win

by Shane Stokes at 6:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
He, David Millar and Dan Martin determined to make most of last days of Tour

Christian Vande VeldeRunner up to Pierrick Fedrigo on yesterday’s stage to Pau, Christian Vande Velde has said that he isn’t too discouraged by not winning and that he and his Garmin-Sharp team intend to ride aggressively for the remainder of the Tour.

The team picked up a victory last Friday when David Millar won into Annonay/Davézieux. Yesterday’s stage became an opportunity for a second when Vande Velde made it into the crucial six-man move, then went clear with Fedrigo inside the final seven kilometres.

However as he had done in a break into Pau two years ago, the Frenchman proved too fast. Vande Velde admitted that he hadn’t been too hopeful in the first place.

“I knew my chances were not good at all with Fedrigo – he is a really quick guy and he’s got a much better sprint than I do,” he stated after the stage. “I knew I had to do something exceptional to win. I never had a sprint – ever – and if it doesn’t go up a big climb, I really have not so good a chance.”

Team-mate Dan Martin told VeloNation that three of the team are coming towards the end of the Tour in good form, and that they worked together yesterday to ensure that one of them made it into the move. “We were really aggressive early on,” he stated. “We were taking it in turns – me, David Millar and Christian were all trying to get away in a break. We covered pretty much every group that went away and, eventually, one Christian was in was the one which stuck.”

The riders have the chance to relax somewhat on today’s rest day, although each of them will train in order to remain loose prior to the two upcoming days in the Pyrenees. They will then have an unusual team function which will be a good distraction from the race.

“The team is sponsored by a Mexican restaurant, Chipotle, and they come over and lay on burritos and margaritas for us,” said Martin. “I never had Mexican food before I came to this team, but now I am a big fan of it. It is pretty hard to get quality Mexican in Europe so it is a bit of a treat for us. A bit of relaxation is always good.”

Vande Velde has never won an individual stage of the Tour. Back in 2006 he had a near miss in Gap; coincidentally, Fédrigo triumphed that day, outsprinting the Italian Salvatore Commesso, while Vande Velde finished three seconds back. “Fedrigo always picks my pocket,” he smiled yesterday.

The Chicagoan has come back into good form after crashing heavily early in the Tour, and will try to use his strong form in the remaining stages.

“We will keep trying all the way,” he pledged. “If it is not me, it will be somebody else. David Millar was really good again, he helped me get up to the front, he set me up for that. One of us will get up there again, we’ll try again.”


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