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"Unfortunately, Linus wasn't feeling too well and he decided to abandon the stage and hopefully recover before next week's national championships."

Photo: Mario Stiehl

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20.06.2015 @ 19:03 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The scene was set for a nerve-wrecking mountain battle among the big climbers during today’s 181 kilometer third stage of Route du Sud between Izaourt and Luchon. Unfortunately for CULT Energy Pro Cycling’s hope for a top result, Linus Gerdemann abandoned the stage early. Instead Karel Hnik was free to go and he finished the stage in the top-20.

 

Once again, CULT Energy’s Mads Pedersen found his way to the first breakaway but unfortunately Tinkoff-Saxo wanted to have the escapees in sight and the break was brought back with 45 kilometers to go. As the pace was intensified on the final climb, the pack was slowly emptied and 7 kilometers from the summit, Alberto Contador launched an attack. However, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) responded instantly and followed the Spaniard to the top of the climb.

 

On the 20 kilometer long descent to the finish line, Contador demonstrated superior descending skills and distanced Quintana to take the stage win and the overall lead. Behind, CULT Energy Pro Cycling’s Karel Hnik fought heroically and rode across the finish line a few minutes later in 17th place.

 

"I was really motivated to do well today. I'm feeling stronger and stronger and wanted to see how far I could take it today so I was on the limit throughout the stage. Rasmus (Guldhammer) supported me to the foot of the final climb where I tried to set a fast pace without burning out and I'm happy to experience that my form is getting better before next week's national championships", says Hnik after the demanding mountain stage.

 

DS Luke Roberts comments on the stage:

 

"It was a tough day for the riders. Tinker-Saxo decided to maintain a high and steady pace on the first few climbs and Mads Pedersen's group was never allowed a gap bigger than three minutes. Entering the final climb, Contador went full throttle  splitting the pack completely but I think Karel did an impressive stage considering the level of competition here. Unfortunately, Linus wasn't feeling too well and he decided to abandon the stage and hopefully recover before next week's national championships. Tomorrow's stage is for the sprinters and we have a strong card to play with Michael Carbel", comments Roberts.

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