Le Mevel hoping to grab Maglia Rosa on Mount Etna
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Le Mevel hoping to grab Maglia Rosa on Mount Etna

by Shane Stokes at 10:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Garmin-Cervélo rider feeling upbeat

Christophe Le MevelThus far, Pieter Weening has clung onto the pink jersey he took on stage five to Orvieto. His rivals are hoping that changes today, amongst them the Garmin-Cervélo leader Christophe Le Mevel.

The Frenchman was in a good mood this morning, showing no sign of nerves about the stage ahead. He knew its importance, though. “It is an important day for me because Enta is a big stage in this Giro…it is the first stage with a lot of mountains,” he told VeloNation right after singing on. “It is a good day and I think my form is good…my sensations are good, anyway, so I would like to stay in front.”

Le Mevel started the stage fourth overall, needing to make up five seconds on Weening. Two HTC riders are ahead of him, with Kanstantsin Sivtsov and Marco Pinotti second and third overall. They are two seconds behind the Maglia Rosa and three up on Le Mevel.

The gaps are tight, though, and he knows that if things go his way, he could be spraying the champagne this evening. “Maybe it is possible to take the pink jersey today. I must stay with the front group and the pink jersey be dropped. That is one solution. [Alternatively] the climb is not too steep so maybe the leader stays again. But if I can attack for the pink jersey, I will attack. I hope I feel good…if I can, I will go.”

Others will have the same on their mind, not least Alberto Contador. He jumped up the general classification to fifth after netting second on yesterday’s stage to Tropea. Le Mevel regards this as a show of form, a way of intimidating his rivals in advance of Etna.

“Alberto is very strong, I think it [his attack] was for the spirit of the other riders,” he explained. “Contador said ‘okay, I am here, be careful’. I think he did it to say ‘I am the leader, not you.’

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