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"I lost position, but came back as fast as I could to take fifth.  It was really too bad because Rast had me in a good position and I lost his wheel,” Gallopin says

Photo: Sirotti






10.03.2013 @ 10:35 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Tony Gallopin (Radioshack-Leopard) survived the climbs and was on paper one of the fastest guys in the group sprint that ended yesterday's stage in Paris-Nice. The young Frenchman ended up fifth and regretted losing the wheel of his lead-out man Gregory Rast in the final.


Tony Gallopin entered this year's Paris-Nice with great ambitions. As a fast man with good climbing skills a number of the stages looked tailor made for his characteristics.


The nephew of team DS Alain Gallopin has been a little below par in the beginning of the race and missed great opportunities in the third and fourth stages. Yesterday's stage was his last opportunity to go for personal glory, and with a fifth place his got his best result of the week.


Radioshack showed its strength by placing 5 riders in the front group which hammered towards the finish line in Nice. With Gallopin and GC riders Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort and Robert Kiserlovski classics specialist once again proved his incredible condition by making the selection, and he was of big importance in the preparation of the sprint.


Unfortunately, the strong work from the Swiss powerhouse was not rewarded.


“Gregy (Rast, ed.) did a very good job for me," Gallopin said.  "The last 10k I was in his wheel.  It was a strange sprint with no trains.  In the last k I was in his wheel and everyone came back and then I lost his wheel.  I lost position, but came back as fast as I could to take fifth.  It was really too bad because he had me in a good position and I lost his wheel.”


The stage had a surprise winner in Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) who does not normally excel in bunch sprints. According to Gallopin it was a testament to a very hard day in the saddle.


“It was a long stage, very long and hard after this whole week of racing," he explained. "Plus the weather has not been so good.  The downhill after the climb was fast, and rain on the road was dangerous too.  But I feel good overall.  Tomorrow is the TT for the GC guys, but I’m happy to see my legs feel good here at the end and I think victory was close today.”


The race finishes today with the legendary Col d'Eze time trial. The best RadioShack rider in GC is veteran Andreas Klöden in 11th 1.06 behind leader Richie Porte (Team Sky).



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