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“I am not happy with myself because the team really gave everything throughout the stage to put me in a good position. Everything went well at the start of the climb, but I just did not have the legs to follow the best."

Photo: IAM Cycling






10.09.2015 @ 19:18 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The queen stage of the Tour of Britain ended in a sprint between two men though it is the only summit finish of the race. At this game it was Wout Poels (Sky) who showed unsuspected resources. Though dropped by Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) late on the climb, the Dutch rider managed to come back in the last hundred meters to win on the wire. 


The champion of Norway still was rewarded by taking over the yellow jersey as leader of the race. Nevertheless, the two men are separated by only one second with three days left before the final finish in London. This means that the final stages will look like anything but a procession. 


For its part, IAM Cycling has had to settle for playing second fiddle on the final climb, though still managing to take three places in the top 35 with Sondre Holst Enger, Stefan Denifl and Clément Chevrier. Disappointed, Stefan Denifl talked about his inability to live up to his expectations before taking his place on the team bus for the evening transfer. 


“I am not happy with myself because the team really gave everything throughout the stage to put me in a good position. Everything went well at the start of the climb, but I just did not have the legs to follow the best. I didn’t manage to hang on in the final kilometers, but I hope we can score a podium or even a victory before the end in London.”


Everyone was warned about how difficult the final seven kilometer climb would be for the stage with an average of 5% gradient. Kjell Carlström, one of the directeurs sportifs along with Rubens Bertogliati, was not completely down when it came time to analyze the day. 


“I have had to draw a line under our ambitions in the face of riders like Boasson Hagen and Poels. I am not disappointed. Stefan Denifl has simply not regained all his strengths as a climber yet. And this climb was not made for guys like Clément Chevrier or Sondre Holst Enger. The best riders were going over 30km/h on account of the tail wind before they hit the flat section just before the finish in the last 800 meters.


"I am satisfied with the work that all the guys did for Stefan. Jonas Van Genechten, Stef Clement and Roger Kluge all rode very hard to give him a chance to be well placed for the climb. Then Sondre Holst Enger and finally Clément Chevrier took over when the road began to tilt up.


"Now we are ready to do our best to influence the race in these final stages. On Friday, there won’t be one meter of flat with ton of climbing and descending, so we will try to get into the break, and even keep the chances for Jonas and Sondre warm in case of a sprint.


"Saturday, the weather forecast is bad with rain and wind. This could also facilitate the designs of courageous escapees. And Sunday, we will have our say in the race circuit that will take in the sights in the center of the city of London.”



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