Fuglsang’s goal of top ten in Paris-Nice evaporates due to stomach problems
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Friday, March 08, 2013

Fuglsang’s goal of top ten in Paris-Nice evaporates due to stomach problems

by VeloNation Press at 6:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice, Injury
 
Iglinskiy second on yesterday’s stage, Grivko remains second overall

Jakob FuglsangHaving stated before the race that he was confident a strong showing was on the cards and that a top ten overall finish or better was his goal, Jakob Fuglsang instead withdrew from Paris-Nice yesterday.

The Danish rider was forced to make the difficult decision due to the illness which affected him Wednesday and which continued on Thursday. The initial symptoms were a fever, then these developed further overnight.

“I had no appetite and a pain in my stomach today, and when I went to eat and drink I couldn't,” he explained after his withdrawal. “I could have finished today, but I would have been unable to help the team, and probably out of the time limit.”

The disappointment contrasts with his optimism before the race began, when he laid out his targets for the French event.

“I'm confident that I can do my best and get a good result,” he said then. “The first goal is to get into the top ten and see who is there to go higher.”

Fuglsang, who moved to the Astana team over the winter and is seen as one of its top riders for stage races, is now refocusing on another event and will instead try to achieve a big result there.

He heads home today and believes he should be able to train again in a few days. “My next race is Catalunya [March 18 – 24] and I should be ready to go by then,” he said. “In the end it is probably better not to go too deep and kill myself here in Paris-Nice.”

Although Fuglsang’s departure is a setback for the team, he is far from the only big gun in Astana colours in the race. Maxim Iglinskiy attacked in the finale and while he was reeled in, he finished second behind Michael Albasini (Orica GreenEdge) in the big gallop to the line. Enrico Gasparotto was also in the top five, netting fourth.

“We had three in the final, me, Grivko and Gaspa. On the downhill we moved to the front to control any attempts to breakaway, and Grivko covered the first attack and brought it back,” he said. “I went to sprint at 350m to go, because there was a gap and Grivko shouted at me to take it.”

Iglinskiy believes that he could actually have won the stage had he timed things better. “In the end I was a little bit early and Albasini passed me for the win after sitting on my wheel. My legs felt good all day, and from the start we knew it was going to be a stage for us.”

He sits eighth overall heading into today’s crucial stage to the top of the Montagne de Lure, while Andriy Grivko is second, sitting just three seconds behind the race leader Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp).

The Astana squad is also heading the team classification.

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