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"You never know what can happen on a stage like what we face on Saturday.  I might have a perfect opportunity.  So why shouldn’t we ride at the front of the race.  These sorts of stages I am often near the front.&r...

Photo: IAM Cycling






13.03.2015 @ 20:19 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Friday the 13th turned out to be lucky for Davide Cimolai (Lampre). The Italian rider won the sprint ahead of Bryan Coquard and Michael Matthews. Sylvain Chavanel took part in the final rumpus as well, and proved himself quite the sprinter by coming away with a splendid 10th place.
The fifth stage of Paris-Nice, which wound its way from Saint-Etienne to the vineyards of Provence in the village of Rasteau, was much trickier than it looked.  Crossing over the river Rhone, and finding very narrow roads in the final kilometers, the stage to Rasteau required extreme concentration and good positioning.  For Sylvain Chavanel, a leader for the IAM Cycling team, this sixth day of racing was an opportunity to get a little closer to a stage win. 


“Today I was expected to do the sprint since it had a false flat that usually suits my characteristics,” Chavanel confirmed.  “I was very well placed, but when I review the video, I see that I am on the left side and forced several time to brake, which means I ended up doing three sprints.” 


Satisfied with his tenth place, the French rider nevertheless could be honest about his chances. 


“I do not have the pure fast-twitch capabilities of the sprinters.  I did have the misfortune to be blocked today, but then I don’t have that acceleration, that required punch to get back up to full speed quickly.  I need to have a good run for a long way.  I do think that I could have done better than 10th place, though.” 


Encouraged that the Race to the Sun is not yet over, Chavanel knows he will have additional opportunities to shine. 


“I feel good overall.  In the mountain stage yesterday, I could basically do what I wanted; that is to say, I was not too far behind the pure climbers and leaders.  You never know what can happen on a stage like what we face on Saturday.  I might have a perfect opportunity.  So why shouldn’t we ride at the front of the race.  These sorts of stages I am often near the front.”
Eddy Seigneur clearly shares that expectation. 


“If we want to finish well overall at the Paris-Nice, that is certainly still possible.  Sylvain is well placed in the overall classification,” IAM Cycling’s directeur sportif said.  “But he will have to go on the offensive.  Depending on the weather, Saturday can be a stage that will do a lot of damage.  So why not? The stage may very well become, as they say, a real construction site.”



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