Paul Voss: Mountain mission accomplished
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Paul Voss: Mountain mission accomplished

by Ben Atkins at 1:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Milram out to prove themselves to secure a new team sponsor.

Paul VossMilram’s Paul Voss went with today’s breakaway for one reason, and one reason only: to win more points and secure his grip on the maglia verde mountains competition. The 24-year-old German has held the jersey since stage 2, when he was part of an 180km breakaway and took third place on the first climb and first on the second. With no climbs on the pan-flat course of stage 3 or the team time trial of stage 4, Voss has been uncontested in the competition ever since.

Today’s stage featured just two small climbs but with a possible 6 points on offer and his total just 4, Voss had to act or lose his jersey. “At the beginning I absolutely wanted to be in the escape group, to hold on to my chances,” said Voss after the jersey presentation. “Until then we [the Milram team] had controlled everything and made sure that my rivals didn't get away. The guys did a really great job,“

Unfortunately for the young German, on an unclassified climb with 25km to go he was unable to stay with the breakaway group. The other three riders left him behind and Quick Step’s Jérôme Pineau managed to stay away and take the victory. “In the finale, my battery was empty and I had to fall back,” he explained. “It never occurred to me that the escape might come through to the end. I am overjoyed with my performance today.“

Voss was quickly caught and passed by a peloton anxious to reel in the other three fugitives; he eventually finished the stage in last place, 8’16” behind Pineau. Despite losing more time, dropping him to 185th overall exactly 21 minutes behind Liquigas-Doimo’s Vincenzo Nibali, the German’s retention of the maglia verde has pleased team director Christian Henn no end.

“That was a super performance by Paul Voss!” said a highly satisfied Henn. “We had to work hard to get 'Vossi' in the escape group. So that makes us all the happier that our plan worked out and he could defend the mountain jersey.“

Not everything went to plan for the German team though as its sprinters were unable to contest the victory as many had previously assumed. “Near the end we tried again to set up a sprint,” said Henn. “But the peloton figured things wrong and let the escapees through to the finish.“

Voss leads the competition with 10 points, ahead of stage 2 breakaway companions Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox) and Rick Flens (Rabobank) with 4 each. Tomorrow’s stage from Fidenza to Marina di Carrara sees the Giro move into the medium mountains though, and with the summit finish to Monte Terminillo coming on Sunday the German will have to work hard to hold on to it much longer.

Mountains jersey standings after stage 5
1. Paul Voss (Ger) Team Milram 10pts
2. Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox 4
3. Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank 4
4. Yukiya Arashiro (Jap) BBox Bouyges Telecom 3
5. Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis 2
6. Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step 1


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