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“I am happy with my performance, it is what I have been working for. Of course I would have liked to finish higher, but I was in the front group until 300m to go," Busche says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






14.05.2014 @ 12:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Matthew Busche headed into the Tour of California as the Trek leader and yesterday he lived up to his role by taking a fine 10th in the queen stage. Now sitting in the top 10 overall, he hopes to improve his position in Friday's next summit finish.


It was a scorching hot day for the highly anticipated 174.6-kilometer Mount Diablo stage. By the end of the long 18-kilometer summit finish the race had also heated up, and the overall classification looked much different: Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) won the stage and took back precious seconds to Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), and the rest of the top 10 molded itself with the GC contenders.


Matthew Busche and Haimar Zubeldia were both with the front select group that formed on the final climb as team Sky led a rapid pace to catch back the last of the original eight-man escape group that animated the day’s action. When the last of the Sky men had dropped away, Bradley Wiggins was forced to take up the pace setting, and he continued to set a blistering pace.


Zubeldia lost contact with the front group at 1.5 kilometers to go, but Matthew Busche was there until the final steep 300 meters. He held on to finish 10th with Zubeldia just behind in 12th.


“I am happy with my performance, it is what I have been working for," Busche said. "Of course I would have liked to finish higher, but I was in the front group until 300m to go. Then it was a sprint up a ridiculous steep grade that seemed to take forever. I just did not have the last punch at the end - chapeau to everyone who did.”


Bradley Wiggins faded in the last steep pitch to the finish after leading the last part of the climb, and placed ninth (+20”). He continues to lead the overall by 24 seconds over Rohan Dennis with Tiago Machado (Netapp-Endura) finishing second on the stage and settling into third overall.


Matthew Busche climbed into 7th position overall (+2’25”) and Haimar Zubeldia to 11th (+2’45”), with one more key climbing stage to come - the summit finish to Mountain High.


“I was well taken care of by the guys today," Busche added. "We came into the bottom of the climb in super position and from there I tried to do my best for me, and the team. I had a few dehydration chills up the climb even though I made sure to drink a lot today.


"I hopefully can recover the next few days for Mountain High, which is likely the next stage for a GC shakeup. Hopefully I can perform well there and move up a few spots in the GC."


Jens Voigt, the crowd favorite in the Amgen Tour of California, described the team’s tactics for today’s stage - one where the team had to take extra care to hydrate with the heat - and also what the next days may look like for Trek Factory Racing.


“Today with the heat someone had to constantly go back to car for drinks for the boys. Drinking, drinking, drinking and conserving, conserving, conserving – then if you have it, wait to go in the last moment on the climb.


"We talked this morning about Team Sky having to control the race, so our job was to place Matthew and Haimar in good position for the climb and then let them try and go with Wiggins. Technically, pretty easy: just try and hold on to Wiggins as long as you can.


“I am definitely motivated for this race, and I feel my form is coming back to where I want it. I may have enough freedom now to get into a breakaway. We will see if it’s tomorrow, which is a fairly flat stage, or if we will work for Danny [van Poppel] who was fifth in the first stage.


"But the whole team will try for breakaways to show our jersey and that we are present in the race. Matthew, of course, will wait for Mountain High.”



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