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"I think I'm crazy. Yesterday I told Michele Scarponi that I'd try to break away if I was going to feel good. He said ‘you're mad'."

Photo: A.S.O./X.Bourgois

CRITERIUM DU DAUPHINE

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VINCENZO NIBALI

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12.06.2015 @ 20:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

"I was looking for answers, I found a yellow jersey."

 

Those were the words of Astana's Vincenzo Nibali after stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Nibali was a protagonist of a very tough stage disturbed at times by heavy rain.

 

Nibali launched a late attack first alone and later with four other riders and they gained 20s on the Col de Grimone, the fourth climb of the day. Nibali and his breakaway companions strecthed their advantage to over three minutes before tackling the final climb.

 

Nibali finished second, only 5s behind stage winner Rui Costa of Portugal but he won the leader's yellow jersey. With two mountains stages to come he is leading the General Classification with a 29s advantage over Costa.

 

"Frankly, I was looking for the stage victory more than the yellow-blue jersey," he said. "I think I'm crazy. Yesterday I told Michele Scarponi that I'd try to break away if I was going to feel good. He said ‘you're mad'.

 

"The day went well. I found an interesting company with riders of the caliber of Valverde, Rui Costa, Gallopin and Martin who had the same desire as I had. I didn't go for such a long breakaway since I rode in the young categories. But I want to make it up for the bad day I had yesterday. My legs didn't respond as I wanted they'd do. So when Team Sky raised the rhythm, I chose to let them go.

 

"I also suffered the allergies a little bit but obviously with so much rain for about five hours, no such problem occurred. In the past, one of my characteristics has been to go well under the rain but that can happen only with a good condition.

 

"I needed to have at least one race at the front like today because my last race was quite a long time ago, it was the Tour de Romandie in April, after which I recovered from the early part of the season that didn't go that well for me. I've had a nice block of training in Tenerife with the team and I came to the Dauphiné looking for answers. I didn't get them yesterday, that's why I went on the offensive today.

 

"But I know by experience that it's not ideal to have a too good shape at the Dauphiné. Usually I come to this race looking for condition.

 

"Now that I'm in the lead, looking at defending it will be a hard task considering the two difficult stages to come and the strong riders who are still in contention. A few years ago I realized that no Italian has ever won the Dauphiné. It might be something special for me but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground and take it day by day."

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