Wegelius on Vande Velde: ‘He showed today how strong he is mentally’
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wegelius on Vande Velde: ‘He showed today how strong he is mentally’

by Shane Stokes at 5:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
Dan Martin says American rider’s belief in him has been a major boost to his career

Christian Vande VeldeGarmin-Sharp all rounder Christian Vande Velde successfully got through today’s sixth stage of the Tour de France, finishing in the bunch despite the blood clot he suffered in yesterday’s crash, plus the loose screw which occurred when he landed heavily and transferred force into a previously-inserted collarbone plate.

The Chicagoan rolled in 162nd, just over five minutes back. The time loss cut into his chances of a high overall finish in his final Tour, but his big goal was survival after a crash that could have ended his race.

Garmin-Sharp director Charly Wegelius hailed his effort after the stage, and also the performance of the other riders.

“The entire team rode great on today's difficult, fast and hot stage. Everyone knew the wind would be a deciding factor, so the racing was fast with most teams wanting to stay at the front and out of trouble,” he said after the stage.

“It’s pretty rare to see a Tour stage with no breakaway…that tells you how fast it was. I'm really proud of the guys and especially of Christian for their racing today. Christian is still in pain and dealing with the all of the effects of his injuries so we will continue to take it day by day and see how he does here, but he showed today how strong he is physically and mentally.”

Dan Martin also lauded the achievement, saying that he was impressed by Vande Velde’s resilience. “He was riding in the front a bit, and it is great to see him finish. I just hope he is going to be okay for the mountains, as he invaluable,” he told VeloNation. “It is just for the experience and support as well.”

Describing him as being ‘like a big brother,’ Martin said that Vande Velde’s influence on his career has been a significant one. “He has got an incredible amount of confidence in me,” he told VeloNation. “When people show confidence in the way he does, it helps spur me on and gives me even more self belief.

“I really hope he can just get through these mountain stages and get through the rest day. Hopefully he will be okay.”


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