Disappointing first mountain stage for Fuglsang, who insists Tour is not over
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Disappointing first mountain stage for Fuglsang, who insists Tour is not over

by VeloNation Press at 7:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Team suggests he erred in trying to follow more explosive riders yesterday

Jakob FuglsangAlthough he cracked on yesterday’s final climb and lost over two and a half minutes, Astana rider Jakob Fuglsang remains determined to fight on in this year’s Tour and to aim for a high final finish.

“The Tour is not over, it has only just begun. It was very hot today, and I think maybe I worked too hard to try to stay at the front, but I kept my head and there was never any panic,” he said after yesterday’s stage. “Right now we know that Saxo Tinkoff, Movistar and Belkin will have to work as teams to try and go after Froome and Team Sky, and my time gap is within a good limit to riders from those teams.”

Fuglsang placed seventeenth yesterday, two minutes and 34 seconds behind a rampaging Froome. The result put him in seventeenth place overall, three minutes and 27 seconds off the race leader. He needs to make up almost a minute to get back into the top ten.

Team directeur sportif Dmitriy Fofonov said that the profile of the stage didn’t suit the rider, and that this may explain at least some of his time loss.

“Jakob is a powerful diesel motor, and he can ride strong all day and attack hard at the finish. Today's stage was a tempo climb up the first mountain and a hard attack by the leaders up a short, steep finish,” he explained. “Not Jakob's style - but this is the Tour de France, and now we know who came to race, who has teams fighting for the podium, and who will have to work starting tomorrow.”

He said that Fuglsang paid the price of trying to follow the top leaders rather than riding his own pace. He felt that being the named leader of the Astana team in the Tour de France may have enticed him to push too hard. “He felt a responsibility to the team to do his best and then to try and do better than his best, and that's what professional bike racers do all year at every race they start. It's normal,” he said. “We know now who the players are in this Tour, and now we can start to play.”

Pointing out that Fuglsang is no longer a direct threat to Chris Froome, and thus may get a little more room, he said that he could ride more strongly in the days ahead. “On a day that suits his profile, a stage that goes up and down and finishes on a long climb, Jakob has the advantage,” he said.


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