Voigt takes most aggressive rider award in Tour Down Under: “You can call me the Elvis of breakaways”
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Voigt takes most aggressive rider award in Tour Down Under: “You can call me the Elvis of breakaways”

by VeloNation Press at 2:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
“I would rather go out and give it a go; give them a run for their money”

Jens VoigtHe didn’t win the stage, but 42 year old Jens Voigt ended up with some plaudits at the end of today’s third stage of the Santos Tour Down Under, winning the most aggressive rider award.

The Trek Factory Racing rider showed that he has every intention of a big season when he joined a breakaway group and added his horsepower to their efforts to stay clear. He jumped across to the trio of Travis Meyer (Drapac Pro Cycling), Jérôme Cousin (Europcar) and Astana's Andriy Grivko, driving the pace and ultimately ended up out front with Grivko in a bid to stave off the chase behind.

The duo were reeled in by the peloton, but Voigt was presented with the Europcar most competitive rider award for his efforts.

“Sometimes you can call me the Elvis of breakaways and you have to live up to your reputation, you have to show your face at least once in race and show that the old dog still has some teeth,” he said after the stage.

“For the normal rider like me who is not a sprinter or a climber, it was today and tomorrow to pick for a breakaway. I pretty much knew that we were dead meat out there from the beginning but I love to try the impossible, that’s just me. What should I wait for - to get popped on the last climb? I would rather go out and give it a go; give them a run for their money.”

Voigt is the oldest rider in the Santos Tour Down Under peloton and showed the younger riders that it is important to seek out opportunities, even if the odds are against you.

“I picked today’s stage to break away because nobody else did,” he explained, “but I knew that it was close to impossible to go for the stage win. We never had more than two and half minutes lead because Andrey Grivko was at 21 seconds (off the overall lead), he wouldn’t get any freedom.”

Still, it was important to show himself and also to set an example. In addition to that, giving the fans a good performance is also a motivating factor for him.

“I might be getting old but I still have high expectations about myself,” he said. “It’s because of self respect that I feel obliged to show my face to the people. I don’t want to be just a number in the bunch. On the road side, every second or third spectator yelled my name. The crowd has enjoyed the show, apparently!”

Voigt has said that this will be his final season in the bunch but, as his supporters will point out, he’s also said that before in the past. They will hope that he defers his decision to retire but, either way, want to see him to continue to go up the road in madcap moves and search for victories.

Kenny ElissondeOn the other end of the spectrum, a rider twenty years Voigt’s junior today took over the lead in the Cycle Instead young rider competition. Kenny Elissonde (FDJ.fr) is 22 years of age and moved up after the tough race up Corkscrew Hill.

He is now seventeen seconds ahead of Luca Wackermann (Lampre-Merida), Michael Valgren Andersen (Tinkoff Saxo) and Jack Haig (UniSA).

“This was very hard,” he said after the stage, where he finished in the second chasing group, 43 seconds behind Evans. “We rode so fast before the Corkscrew climb. But my team-mates positioned me very well even though it was a short climb and not exactly to my taste.

“It shows the trust they have in me, so the jersey I get now belongs to the team more than to myself. This is not high mountains, so I’m not in my comfort zone, but that’s how I can improve my cycling.”

He is now eighteenth overall, one minute and one second behind Evans.

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