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"We had to hang on all the time, but Jérôme Pineau and Roger Kluge succeeded in bringing me safely to the finish.  Given the circumstance, I lost only a little time and I am pleased to see this stage behind me,"...

Photo: IAM Cycling








10.07.2014 @ 00:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathias Frank is definitely no cobbles specialist and so the Swiss went into today's stage of the Tour de France with a lot to lose. With a time loss of more than 4 minutes, he ended up being one of the losers of the day but he remained satisfied with the outcome.


The 5th stage of the 101st Tour de France decimated the peloton and caused Christopher Froome (Sky) to abandon the race after two crashes.  Lars Boom (Belkin) won the stage with panache after conquering nine muddy and wet cobblestone sections leading to Arenberg, but it was Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who was the real winner of the day, strengthening his grip on the overall lead.
During this test of truth, IAM Cycling went through all sorts of emotional ups and downs with repeated crashes preventing both Sylvain Chavanel and Heinrich Haussler from contesting the victory.  The team’s GC leader Mathias Frank crashed but still finished 55th at 4’16”, losing less than 4 minutes to the yellow jersey. 


Frank was pleased to have avoided the worst. 


“I had to force myself not to worry at every turn or crossing the roundabouts.  Weather conditions with the rain and wind accentuated the difficulty.  We had to hang on all the time, but Jérôme Pineau and Roger Kluge succeeded in bringing me safely to the finish.  Given the circumstance, I lost only a little time and I am pleased to see this stage behind me.”
Less than a month after having fractured his fifth metacarpal during the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, Jérôme Pineau filled his position perfectly in the real Hell of the North.  This did not keep him from questioning the need of a stage of this sort in the Tour de France. 


“It’s still a bit too much for my taste.  We have proven once again that cycling is a beautiful sport.  It’s spectacular, but is this necessary to put a stage like this into a three week race? 


"Froome was on the ground several times.  I saw crashes at all the roundabouts and there were more than 70 crossings in Lille and Roubaix.  Don’t think it’s overstated to say it was apocalyptic.  I went well and my hand didn’t bother me at all, and as a bonus, we have helped Mathias Frank to limit the damage.”



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