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“I’m really not a specialist in an uphill sprint.  I took advantage of the fantastic work that my guys did, and I was perfectly placed at the foot of the climb thanks to Martin and Reto.  Then I just followed the moves...

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IAM CYCLING

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MATHIAS FRANK

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SYLVAIN CHAVANEL

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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11.07.2015 @ 21:53 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Similarly to the finish at the Mur d’Huy on Monday, the winner of the Mûr de Bretagne ended up being one of those punchy climbers.  This time, though, it was Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), already having taken third on the Huy, who was the fastest, finishing solo ahead of Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and Alejandro Valverde. Christopher Froome (Sky) retained his yellow jersey at the front of the pack of contenders who hit the line just 10 seconds after Vuillermoz.  

 

Meanwhile, IAM Cycling also had a successful day which began with a breakaway attempt from Sylvain Chavanel who was in the lead break for more than 100 kilometers.  And then at the tail end of the stage, excellent assistance by Martin Elmiger and Reto Hollenstein proved essential in placing Mathias Frank perfectly at the foot of the final climb so that he could match the leaders to the top.  Frank did his part by sticking with the lead group and finishing 25th in the same time as the favorites.

 

Sylvain Chavanel was not overly disappointed in his first day spent under the sun in Brittany, even though his breakaway attempt ultimately was for naught. 

 

“It was not a planned attempt, but we also did not push it too hard because the pack refused to give us too much of an advantage.  We never managed to take more than 3’30”, and we would have been fooling ourselves if we really thought we could make it all the way to the finish.  So we just avoided tapping into our reserves.   

 

"That certainly was not the goal since we still want to have our best legs for the team time trial.  We have a good shot to play for something special because we are all good riders for this discipline.  And that way we also hope to help Mathias Frank climb the leader board and erase some of the time he has lost in the overall.”

 

Before enjoying an ice bath to help his recovery, Mathias Frank thanked his teammates and analyzed his performance on the second uphill finish of the race. 

 

“I’m really not a specialist in an uphill sprint.  I took advantage of the fantastic work that my guys did, and I was perfectly placed at the foot of the climb thanks to Martin and Reto.  Then I just followed the moves.  The objective for the day has been met since I did not lose any time. 

 

"Now we must immediately start thinking about the team time trial.  There will be a lot to prepare since it is very demanding.  But it is perfect for rouleurs, do we should be able to do pretty well.”

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