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"I quickly noticed that the other riders in the breakaway wished to fight for the polka dot jersey. I preferred not to take part in this fight and to remain focused on the stage win," Kadri says

Photo: Sirotti




07.07.2014 @ 12:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Blel Kadri (Ag2r) did a fantastic race in yesterday's second stage of the Tour de France when he single-handedly kept the peloton at bay for a long time in the finale. Having decided not to focus on the mountains jersey, he went all out for the stage victory and was rewarded with the award of most aggressive rider.


When the 7-rider break was formed in yesterday's second stage of the Tour de France, it was evident that most of the riders were there to take the mountains jersey. One rider, however, had a different plan as Blel Kadri had marked the day out as one to go for a stage victory.


When his companions started to fade, Kadri took off on his own on the only category 2 climb of the day and did a fantastic performace to rebuild his advantage from 0.10 to 1.20 before he was finally swallowed up with a little more than 30km to go. The solo effort elevated him into second in the KOM classification and he earned the most aggressive rider award for his performance.


“I was pleased to be present in the front on a stage that we red-circled," he said. "That’s always satisfying to be present when a goal is set. I quickly noticed that the other riders in the breakaway wished to fight for the polka dot jersey. I preferred not to take part in this fight and to remain focused on the stage win. That’s why I attacked so far from the finish, around 60 km.


"I knew that it would be complicated to win but I had to try my luck. I would have preferred to have some riders to help me but I didn’t know the gap between me and the pack because of the noise due to the many fans. 


"I let the other fight for that [the mountains jersey], knowing that there was another possibility with taking points in the last hills of the stage. There was an opportunity. I've been close to making it. I miss it for only one point. It's not a drama. I've done what I had to do and I'm rewarded by the most aggressive rider price.


"I obtained the most combative rider award, I’m second in the mountains classification, that’s great but my main goal remains to win a stage. That was the objective today and I will do all my best to achieve it before the end of the Tour.

"Once again, we showed today we have a great collective spirit, also with JC (Péraud) and Romain (Bardet) who tried their luck in the final part. The Ag2r team is strong and able to do at least as well as in the last Tour in which we were present in every important breakaway.”



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