Video: Disappointed Le Mevel says hunt for Giro's Maglia Rosa is over
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Video: Disappointed Le Mevel says hunt for Giro's Maglia Rosa is over

by Shane Stokes at 6:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Giro d'Italia, Video
Garmin-Cervélo rider believes it’s not possible to take race lead now

Christophe Le MevelOut front for much of today’s Ardennes Classic-style stage of the Giro d’Italia, Christophe Le Mevel was race leader on the road and riding strongly in his bid to take the Maglia Rosa. The Frenchman was caught before the finish, though, and has now said that he believes it’s not possible to take the lead in this year’s race.

“It is finished, I don’t have the opportunity as tomorrow it is a flat day for sprinters, then afterwards it is for climbers like Contador and Nibali,” the deflated rider told VeloNation in a video interview after the finish. “Now it is not possible.”

Le Mevel went away with eight others after approximately 62 kilometres of racing. The others who jumped clear with him were Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank), Ignatas Konovalovas (Movistar), Daniel Moreno (Katusha), Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Cannondale), Marco Manzano (Lampre-ISD), Simone Stortoni (Colnago-CSF Inox), plus lus the Acqua & Sapone duo Fabio Taborre and Carlos Alberto Betancourt . Tiago Machado (RadioShack) and Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky) then got across soon after.

“It was not the plan, but it was my instinct,” he said of the move. “I wanted to get into a breakaway as maybe it was possible to take the pink jersey today. I thought it was possible but a lot of teams rode behind me. I know Saxo Bank don’t want the pink jersey for tomorrow, so I said that maybe it was okay for me.

“When I was in the breakaway I thought that maybe today it would be okay, but the pink jersey doesn’t want me [laughs]. Every day I try, I try…it is a pity, because I wanted this pink jersey a lot. I tried, but it didn’t happen.”

He feels that the main problem is the battle for the podium placings. “I think a lot of teams were afraid of me when I was in front” he reasoned. “They don’t want me to take two minutes more. In the classement general, there is the first place, sure but there is top five, top ten. A lot of riders want top ten. So if I have two minutes more, maybe I am very dangerous for a lot of riders.”

He ended the day in fourth place, with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) inching ahead of him. However he’s not too worried by the small change, reasoning that there will be much bigger time gains and time losses ahead in the mountains.

Looking forward, Le Mevel believes that a big overall ride might be achievable. He was tenth overall in the 2009 Tour de France and would like to equal or better that here. “Maybe it is possible [to go for] the general classification. I want top ten,” he said. “For the moment, I am good, I feel okay. I was in the breakaway today and my legs felt good, but I didn’t win. Now I take it day by day, [I have] good form, good sensation. I think it is good for the last week, because it is very hard.”

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