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“I just try to do my best and then we will see the result. The best riders in the world are all here. It will be really difficult. It will not be like in Canada. Here everybody comes from the Vuelta, from Canada so it will be differen...

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24.09.2014 @ 20:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard, Ponferrada

Ramunas Navardauskas showed great form in the recent Canadian races and has been tipped as a potential dark horse for Sunday’s road race. After a below-par time trial, the Lithuanian plays down expectations.

 

With a stint in the maglia rosa and a stage win in the Giro, Ramunas Navardauskas had already had lots of success at the beginning of the year. Nonetheless, 2014 may be regarded as some kind of a breakthrough for the versatile Lithuanian.

 

He started really strongly in April when he won a stage and the overall at the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe but the crowning moment came at the Tour de France. Having escaped in the finale, he managed to hold off the fast-finishing peloton to take the biggest victory of his career on stage 19 of the race.

 

In that race, he also showed his great potential for sprinting, taking a couple of top 10 results. He bookended the race by finishing third in the opening sprint and on the most famous of them all, the final one in Paris.

 

Most recently, he rode great in Canada where he finished in the top 10 in all road stages of the Tour of Alberta before finishing the race in third overall. Later he sprinted to third and fourth in the WorldTour GP Quebec and Montreal respectively.

 

Those results have marked him out as an outsider for the World Championships road race whose course may suit him. With two smaller climbs, the race could be too hard for most of the sprinters and Navardauskas could emerge as the fastest in a small group.

 

However, Navarduaskas plays down his expectations.

 

“I didn’t know how I would be in Canada and now I also don’t know how my form will be in three days,” he told CyclingQuotes in Ponferrada. “I just try to do my best and then we will see the result. The best riders in the world are all here. It will be really difficult. It will not be like in Canada. Here everybody comes from the Vuelta, from Canada so it will be different riders and really difficult.”

 

In fact, Navardauskas may no longer be in his best condition. Garmin-Sharp sports director Johnny Weltz told CyclingQuotes that the Lithuanian had ridden poorly in the team time trial and today he finished 49th out of 63 riders in the time trial.

 

“It’s a good course,” he said. “It’s really hard. In the beginning, it is a little bit flat and descending where you can easily go 50-60kph. The last part is more difficult. It is always a little bit uphill and it really takes your energy.

 

“I always try to do my best at Worlds but I cannot compete with these guys [Tony Martin and Bradley Wiggins] so it is no big disappointment. It is just how it is.”

 

CyclingQuotes also asked Navardauskas about his future objectives and how he sees himself develop as a rider. You can read more about that in a later article.

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