Six years after winning stage 5 of the 2008 Critérium du Dauphiné and having scored only one victory since (stage 2 of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco in 2009), Yuriy Trofimov raised his arms up in the air again in Gap. The 30 year-old Russian from Katusha rode away from the front group in the ascent to col de Manse but didn't threat Chris Froome's yellow jersey at the difference of AG2R-La Mondiale's Maxime Bouet who lost all his hopes on both stage and GC in the last fifteen kilometers.
“This morning, our goal was to have a rider in case of a five or six man breakaway and two if more than fifteen riders formed the front group. Since we've struggled at col du Béal, our objective has become to win a stage. We come closer but I'm very disappointed. The legs have made the difference in the col de Manse. Trofimov was the strongest. When he rode away on his own, I've tried to handle the situation but I realized that the stage was lost. I still tried to finish second. I'm...
“The beginning of the stage was pretty hard because the breakaway didn't go early. Many riders wanted to break away. It was nervous. Later, the road was pretty nice, until the downhill to Gap. It wasn't frightening but we had to pay a lot of attention. In some curves, I used my brakes at the last minute. In the coming days, it'll be very hard to attack Froome and Contador. I'd rather try to follow them as long as I can and moreover keep the white jersey till the end.”
“I wouldn't say it was an easy stage but, once again, I have say thank you to my teammates for having made it a trouble free day. This is a team building for the Tour de France and we got really good signs today. It was our intention to let the yellow jersey go and another team take it before the week-end of racing but in the end, the race was just so fast that we reached the finishing line quickly after the breakaway riders.”
“I can't believe I won. I knew this climb since the Tour de France last year. I was already in the breakaway. In the beginning of the stage, I saved my legs for the end, then I rode flat out in the climb. I gave the maximum. I knew who was who in the breakaway. Now I'd like to a stage at the Tour de France as well.”
Current pro riders aren't strangers to the stage finale down to Gap from the col de Manse whose summit is only 12.5 kilometres away from the finish line on the Avenue du Maréchal Foch. It's a classic and thrilling exercise scheduled to highlight anyone's specific skills: after the time triallists' show in Lyon, the climbers' time up the col du Béal, the sprinters' day on their way to Le Teil, here's the paradise for downhill racers. They all know this descent is tricky and the risk to go...
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