Pierre Rolland: “I don’t think it’s ever killed anyone to make such efforts.”
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Monday, July 01, 2013

Pierre Rolland: “I don’t think it’s ever killed anyone to make such efforts.”

by Ben Atkins at 5:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Corsican attacks put great French hope into polka-dots; hopes he won’t pay later on

Pierre RolandPierre Rolland (Europcar) was on the attack for the second straight day in today’s third stage of the Tour de France, between Ajaccio and Calvi, and leaves the island of Corsica with a comfortable lead in the mountains classification. Dressed almost from head to foot in polka-dots, including his helmet and bike, the rider that is arguably France’s best hope for overall glory in its biggest race, was alone over the top of the stage’s final climb - with just 13.5km to go - and was joined by a small group, but was eventually reeled in inside the final three kilometres.

"I said I'd be in the right group that was riding at the front,” said Rolland to letour.fr after the stage. “Then, on the final climb, I asked David [Malacarne, ] to come with me. Then I could take the points at the top, which means that I can wear this polka-dot jersey for a few days. I know very well that this is something very important about the Tour.”

Rolland was 20 seconds clear of the peloton over the top of the climb - earning himself another five points towards the overall mountains classification - and was joined on the descent by Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Lars Petter Nordhaug (Belkin) and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), but the quartet was unable to hold off the chase led by Cannondale Pro Cycling.

"David launched me really well," Rolland said later. "Once I was out ahead I thought I'd give it a go. When I saw that it was Chavanel who was coming onto my wheel I told myself that the stage win was a possibility, but unfortunately the peloton came back on us extremely quickly."

The Tour’s three Corsican stages have seen most of the overall contenders for the Tour try to avoid crashing or losing time on their rivals. Big favourite Chris Froome (Team Sky) was on the attack on stage two, while Rolland has been aggressive on stages two and three; sitting in the peloton is just not Rolland’s style, as he explained.

"For the moment, we see that all the favourites are on the defensive, merely doing what it takes to prevent falls,” Rolland said to letour.fr. “I prefer to seize opportunities when the route is suitable. Maybe in the last week, I'll pay for it, but I don’t think it’s ever killed anyone to make such efforts."

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