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"For Alex Kristoff the final climb was maybe too steep and too fast. He fought until the end but he couldn’t manage to come in with the first group. Moreover Porsev and Paolini couldn’t help him."

Photo: Sirotti








11.07.2014 @ 22:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alexander Kristoff went into today's stage of the Tour de France as one of the favourites but the final climb was a bit too tough for the big Norwegian. Katusha's GC rider Yury Trofimov managed to limit his losses after having been held up behind a crash.


Despite the roads being dry and the stage being relatively flat, Friday’s stage 7 in the Tour de France again brought drama to the peloton with a few team general classification riders involved in crashes all the way to the finish line. Luckily for Team Katusha, the riders escaped injury and arrived in Nancy in good condition. 


"The final of this stage was a little bit crazy with all of these crashes," team director Dmitry Konyshev said. "Fortunately none of our riders were involved. It’s true that because of the Van Garderen crash Iurii Trofimov lost 14 seconds, but I think this is really nothing. The main thing is he did not crash. Iurii has a good position before the mountain stages so everything is ok.


"For Alex Kristoff the final climb was maybe too steep and too fast. He fought until the end but he couldn’t manage to come in with the first group. Moreover Porsev and Paolini couldn’t help him because they were split off behind from the crash at 15 km to go.


"Now the real mountains start so we will see what happens in the next days."


BMC’s GC contender Tejay Van Garderen went down hard with 15 km to go, forcing a bike change with a teammate and a vicious chase that still resulted in a loss of more than one minute on the classification. Iurii Trofimov had to go around the group piled up on the ground and lost a bit of time. Aleksandr Porsev and Simon Špilak did their best to put Trofimov back in the main group, so just before the final climb with 6 km to go, Katusha’s GC leader managed to come back in the group of yellow jersey. But, right in that moment a number of attacks split the group again. So, in the final Iurii lost 14 seconds, but still remains the best-placed rider for Katusha in 17th at 2:39.


A photo finish gave the sprint win to Italy’s Matteo Trentin of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.  Peter Sagan (Cannondale) took second and continues to hold the green sprinter’s jersey by a wide margin of more than 100 points to Bryan Coquard (Europcar). Alexander Kristoff is currently fourth in the sprint competition. Third for the stage was Lotto’s Tony Gallopin. There was no change for the overall and Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali holds the race lead by two-seconds to his teammate Jakob Fuglsang.


The real Tour de France with its famous mountain stages begins on Saturday with stage 8. The 161 km stage begins in Tomblaine and ends in Gérardmer La Mauselaine. The peloton will get a first look at some serious mountains in the Vosges region of France with three rated climbs packed into the last 20 km of racing, including the uphill explosive final.  



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